Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Ali Abdullah Saleh's political party discounted that the former Yemen president plans to leave the country for a visit to the UAE.
Ali Abdullah Saleh's political party discounted that the former Yemen president plans to leave the country for a visit to the UAE.

Saleh plan to go to UAE is denied

Party rebuts reports amid claim he failed to get a visa.

SANAA // Reports that the ousted president of Yemen plans to leave the country to visit the UAE were discounted yesterday by Ali Abdullah Saleh's political party.

A statement from the General People's Congress (GPC) late on Sunday refuted reports that Mr Saleh intended to leave for the UAE under pressure from Gulf and western countries to assist the transfer of power to the new president, Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

As part of that transition, Mr Saleh would step down as head of the GPC, which is sharing power with opposition groups during the two-year changeover period, and allow Mr Hadi to govern unhindered.

As a result of this pressure, the party already authorised Abdulkareem Al Iryani to chair the meetings of the party leaders till a general meeting is held in which Mr Saleh will be officially removed from the leadership of the party.

But a western diplomat told The National that Mr Saleh changed his plans.

"He was willing to leave to the UAE but he later changed his mind, saying he did not get the visa," said the diplomat, on condition on anonymity.

According to the GPC party website, any plan by Mr Saleh to leave Yemen would contradict "commitments by national, regional and global parties" under the power-transfer plan.

Mr Hadi took over as the country's leader in February following nearly a year of street protests. Under a deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council, Mr Saleh stepped down in return for immunity from prosecution for him and his aides. But Mr Saleh's network of family and friends in high-level security, military, and administrative positions has posed challenges to the new president.

In early April, Mr Hadi sacked Gen Mohammed Saleh Al Ahmer, Yemen's air force commander and a half-brother of Mr Saleh, along with 20 other officers and four governors loyal to the former president. The shake-up followed growing concerns that Mr Saleh was using the loyalists to further destabilise the country.

While almost all immediately left their posts, it took more than two weeks and the assistance of the UN special envoy, Jamal Benomar, to get the air force commander to step down.

Mr Benomar is also helping Mr Hadi to purge the Republican Guard forces, the country's best- trained soldiers, of Mr Saleh's family members who are refusing to follow Mr Hadi's orders. The envoy is said to have given Mr Saleh's relatives a deadline to obey, or the issue will be brought to a UN Security Council meeting set for May 17, according to an official who requested anonymity.

Yesterday, Mr Hadi made several key army appointments in an effort to assist Yemen's forces in their fight against Al Qaeda militants, who have taken over parts of the country's south. About 20 people were killed yesterday in an offensive against an Al Qaeda militant post in Lawdar, in Abyan province.

Military and local officials said 17 militants were killed while an army colonel and two civilian fighters died. The battle has been going on for three weeks after the militants launched an attack on the army in an attempt to seize the city.

malqadhi@thenational.ae

twitterFollow The National on @TheNationalUAE & Mohammed Al Qadhi on @mohammedalqadhi

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Fatema holds a picture of her son Nurul Karim as she poses for a photograph in front of her slum house in Savar. Fatema lost her son Nurul Karim and her daughter Arifa, who were working on the fifth floor of Rana Plaza when it collapsed on April 24, 2013. All photos Andrew Biraj / Reuters

These women know the real price of cheap high street fashion

Survivors of the world's worst garment factory accident, struggle to rebuild their lives from the rubble of the Rana Plaza collapse as Bangladesh prepares to mark the first anniversary of the disaster.

 Supporters of unseen India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate and Chief Minister of the western Indian state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, wave as he arrives to file his election nomination papers in Varanasi. Sanjay Kanojia / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world April 24

The National View's photo editors pick the best of the day from around the world

 Iranian workers at the Iran Khodro auto plant in Tehran on March 18. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

Iran’s love of cars survives devastating sanctions

Sanctions and energy subsidy reductions might have hurt the Iranian automotive industry. But car makers at one factory are still optimistic, Yeganeh Salehi reports from Tehran

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greeted by university students as he leaves Sistan University in Sistan and Baluchestan’s provincial capital of Zahedan on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

In Iran’s most troubled province, Rouhani hears pleas for change

Hassan Rounani aims to connect with residents of far-flung Sistan and Baluchestan province.

 Prince Bandar bin Sultan in Riyadh on March 3, 2007. Hassan Ammar / AFP Photo

Saudi Prince Bandar promised a victory he could not deliver

Saudi Arabia's controversial intelligence chief stepped down this week after rumours that his policies on Syria had fallen out of favour.

 Aiza Tonida puts out laundry amid the ruins of her parents home in Leyte province that was destroyed when Typhoon Haiyan struck central Philippines on November 8, 2013. Joey Reyna for The National

Filipinos seek Middle East jobs to rebuild lives after Haiyan

Work in the GCC seen as only hope for thousands left homeless and jobless after devastating storm in November.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National