HONOLULU, Hawaii - The United States is considering Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's request to visit, but would only grant him entry for "legitimate" medical treatment, a senior US official said Monday.
Officials also said President Barack Obama's top anti-terror advisor John Brennan called Yemeni Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi on Sunday to urge "maximum restraint" after forces backing Saleh killed 13 demonstrators.
Saleh, set to stand down after a presidential election in February, said on Saturday he wanted to visit the United States, though was not seeking treatment for wounds sustained in an attack on his palace in June.
But a senior US official said Monday that Saleh's office had contacted the US embassy in Sanaa and said the president did want to go to the United States to seek "specialized medical treatment."
"The request for approval for President Saleh to travel to the United States is currently under consideration," the official said on condition of anonymity.
"The only reason that travel to the United States by President Saleh would be approved would be for legitimate medical treatment."
UN envoy Jamal Benomar said last week that Saleh, treated in Saudi Arabia after June 3 explosion at his palace, needed "important" medical treatment abroad.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had previously said that Saleh would visit New York for medical treatment.