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Yemen's Saleh asks to withdraw his U.S. visa application: official

(Xinhua)

13:05, January 11, 2012

SANAA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh's office asked the U.S. embassy in Sanaa to return Saleh's passport, officials said Tuesday, nearly a week after the veteran leader declared to postpone his medical trip to the United States.

"President Saleh's office asked the U.S. embassy in Sanaa to return the passports of the president and his team," an official at Saleh's office told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The medical trip was proposed by Saleh to complete treatment for wounds he sustained in a bomb attack on his presidential palace on June 3, 2011, which forced him along with 87 other officials to be hospitalized for months in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Last Wednesday, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that her country has made no decision over whether allowing in Saleh for medical treatment.

The U.S. response angered Saleh and his party's leaders, according to one of Saleh's aides.

The fresh decision of the outgoing president came a day ahead of a scheduled session of the Yemeni parliament to pass an immunity law for Saleh and his aides in accordance to a Gulf- brokered power transfer deal.

Thousands of protesters in Sanaa vowed to march to the parliament's building on Wednesday to protest against the controversial law and demand to prosecute Saleh and his aides.

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