Former Yemen President takes off for Saudi on a wing and a stretcher

Published April 2nd, 2013 - 12:14 GMT
Former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh

The former President of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh has left the country for Saudi Arabia, airport officials told AP news agency.

According to the sources, he's jetted off for medical treatment in Riyadh on a special Saudi plane.

A senior member of Saleh's Congress Party said that they will be releasing a full statement in due course but did admit that the former dictator was travelling to Riyadh for hospital treatment.

The fomer President has been under considerable international pressure to leave Yemen, where it's thought that he was impeding progress of a national dialogue conference that's been running for two weeks. The conference is widely seen as a critical moment in Yemen, as it seeks to emerge from decades of instability.

Reports of the President's flight emerged on the same day that thousands of Yemenis are facing the reverse journey, after Saudi Arabia began expelling thousands of Yemeni migrant workers.

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