Obama lets Yemeni Leader to Be Admitted Into U.S. for Medical Care

HONOLULU — The Obama administration will allow the embattled president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to travel to New York City for medical treatment, an administration official said Monday, after a vigorous internal debate over fears the United States would be criticized for appearing to provide a safe haven for a reviled Arab leader responsible for the deaths of hundreds of demonstrators.

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Mr. Saleh could arrive at New York-Presbyterian Hospital as soon as the end of this week, the official said, for treatment of medical problems stemming from a near-fatal bomb blast in June at the mosque in his presidential complex. He would be the first Arab leader to request, and to be granted, admission to the United States since political unrest began convulsing the region a year ago.

Though officials had been concerned that the decision would anger the many Yemenis eager to see Mr. Saleh prosecuted, they decided that giving Mr. Saleh a way out of Yemen, even temporarily, could help smooth the way to elections next year and perhaps end a political crisis that has brought the government of the impoverished nation to the brink of collapse.

via Yemeni Leader to Be Admitted Into U.S. for Medical Care – NYTimes.com.

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