WASHINGTON (AP) -- Yemen's outgoing president has been cleared to come to the U.S. temporarily for medical treatment, a senior Obama administration official said Sunday.
Ali Abdullah Saleh is expected to stay in the U.S. for a limited amount of time that corresponds to the duration of his treatment, the official.
Earlier Sunday, a presidential spokesman in Yemen said Saleh had left the capital on a jet headed for the Persian Gulf sultanate of Oman and would be making another stop before going to the U.S.
The U.S. official did not say when Saleh would arrive in the U.S. or where he would be receiving treatment. The official was not authorized to discuss details about Saleh and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Demonstrators in Yemen began protesting against Saleh and calling for his ouster nearly one year ago. The Yemeni government responded with a bloody crackdown, leaving hundreds of protesters dead and sparking wider violence in the capital with rival militia.
Saleh agreed last year to transfer power to his vice president ahead of presidential elections planned for February. But Saleh has continued to wield power behind the scenes, and U.S. officials believed getting him out of Yemen was necessary in order to ensure the elections took place.
Saleh, who has ruled for more than 33 years, left Yemen earlier in the uprising for medical treatment in Saudi Arabia. His palace mosque was bombed and he was treated for severe burns.