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Embattled president of Yemen will come to the U.S!

Interesting Article: "Path Is Cleared for Yemeni Leader to Get Care in U.S."by MARK LANDLER / Honolulu published Monday, December 26, 2011

An interesting article in The New York Times mentioned that the Obama administration has decided in principle to allow the embattled president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to enter the United States for medical treatment, subject to certain assurances, two administration officials said Monday. But those conditions — including a proposed itinerary — have not yet been submitted to the American Embassy in Yemen, these officials said, and no visa has yet been issued to Mr. Saleh. But those conditions — including a proposed itinerary — have not yet been submitted to the American Embassy in Yemen, these officials said, and no visa has yet been issued to Mr. Saleh. The complex negotiations over Mr. Saleh’s visa request attest to the high stakes for the administration, which urgently wants to secure room for political progress in Yemen but does not want to allow Mr. Saleh to use a medical visit as a way to shore up his political position. Nor do they want to play into Mr. Saleh’s penchant for keeping people off kilter. Though the administration had been concerned that approval would anger the many Yemenis eager to see Mr. Saleh prosecuted for the killing of protesters by his security forces, some believe that giving him 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. So what is the current situation in Yemen?



The U.S has been placed in situations like this in the past. Therefore, the Obama Administration took its time in figuring out what to do. President Jimmy Carter’s decision in 1979 to admit the ailing shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, into the United States for medical treatment, infuriated the Islamic revolutionaries who had overthrown the shah to a point that they stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage. The U.S has to be careful in situations like this, the last thing we want to do is repeat an Iran type problem. Very recently in Yemen, A high-ranking officer of the Yemeni military intelligence agency was gunned down Sunday evening by unidentified assailants in the southern port city of Aden. Taking advantage of Yemen's unrest to bolster their presence in the country's southern and eastern regions, militants of the al- Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula have been launching sporadic shoot- outs and motorbike attacks on security and intelligence officials during the past few months. Recently, backers of a Yemeni Islamist party that signed on to a plan to nudge the president from power scuffled with members of a Shi'ite rebel movement frozen out of the deal in the capital Sanaa on Tuesday, witnesses said. U.N. Yemen envoy Jamal Benomar, who is attempting to shore up the transition deal, visited Saada this month and met with leaders of the Houthis, who have in recent months fought Sunni Islamists espousing Salafi doctrines that are influential in Saudi Arabia and condemn Shi'ites as heretics. Officials in the U.S also believe that any successor to Saleh would face multiple, overlapping conflicts including renewed separatist sentiment in the south, which fought a civil war with Saleh's north in 1994 after four turbulent years of formal union. Washington long backed Saleh as a cornerstone of its "counter-terrorism" policy in Yemen, which includes the use of drones to kill alleged al Qaeda members. A CIA drone strike killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen linked to Al Qaeda's regional wing, earlier this year. Currently, any post-Saleh government would face overlapping regional conflicts that have displaced nearly half a million people. Attacks on infrastructure hamper the modest oil exports that fund imports of staple foods. Fighting with Islamists who have seized chunks of territory in a southern province, Abyan, has sent tens of thousands of its residents to flight, compounding Yemen's humanitarian crisis. Separatist sentiment is also surging in the south.

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References:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2011-12/26/c_131326299.htm   
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/27/yemen-idUSL6E7NR0DE20111227
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/25/yemen-pm-idUSL6E7NP09A20111225

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