MUSCAT - Yemen's outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh is seeking exile in neighboring Oman, but the sultanate is reluctant to host him for fear of hurting its relations with any future Yemeni government, diplomats said on Tuesday.
Saleh left Sanaa on Sunday and headed to the United States for medical treatment following a brief stopover in Oman, though he said in a parting speech he would return to Yemen.
A foreign diplomat in Muscat said Saleh has sought permission to reside there. An Omani government source declined to confirm or deny receiving such a request, but said Oman would be reluctant to grant it in case this might harm future relations with Yemen.
The United States, which endorsed a plan to coax Saleh out of office by granting him immunity from prosecution over the deaths of protesters during an uprising against his rule, defended its decision to issue him a visa, despite criticism that it would be seen as sheltering him.