Yemeni President OK'd To Get Medical Care In US05:14
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Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh speaks to reporters during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011. (AP)
Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh speaks to reporters during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011. (AP)

In the midst of a popular uprising and a brutal government crackdown in Yemen, the Obama administration appears poised to grant a visa to Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh so that he can receive medical treatment in New York.

This is a politically complex and potentially controversial decision. Many in Yemen revile President Saleh, and have been calling for his removal since the start of the Arab Spring earlier this year.

Hundreds of anti-government protesters have been killed by Saleh's troops. But Saleh has been a key U.S. ally as it hunts down al-Qaida operatives in Yemen.

It has been noted that the last controversial ruler to seek medical treatment in the U.S. was the Shah of Iran during President Carter's term.

Guest:

  • Aaron David Miller, fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. He's advised six Republican and Democratic Administrations on Middle East negotiations

This segment aired on December 27, 2011.

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