UNITED NATIONS - Yemen's outgoing president, who last month agreed to transfer authority to his deputy, is in need of medical treatment that will require him to leave the conflict-torn country, the UN envoy to Yemen said Wednesday.
Last month, President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed an accord to transfer his powers to his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, ushering in an opposition-led Yemeni government to lead the country to early presidential elections in February 2012.
There have been concerns among Western officials that Saleh might once again try to wiggle out of the deal aimed at easing him out of power in the Arab world's poorest nation. But it appears that medical necessity might force Saleh to vacate the country for a period of time.
"My understanding is that President Saleh still requires serious medical treatment and medical treatment that he will require outside of Yemen," UN special envoy Jamal Benomar told reporters after privately briefing the Security Council.
"Efforts are being made ... for arrangements to be concluded for him to get this treatment," he said.