US caught off guard by Saleh's return

2011-09-23 22:29

Washington - The US apparently was blindsided by the sudden return home of Yemen's wounded leader after three months abroad for medical care.

The development further complicates US-backed efforts to prevent a civil war and an al-Qaeda power grab in the largely lawless Arab country.

US officials conceded the timing of his return from Saudi Arabia on Thursday was a surprise.

They said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was not warned of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's plans when she met on Tuesday with Saudi Arabia's foreign minister in New York.

Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Saleh did not appear before the Yemeni public, but called for a cease-fire and negotiations with the opposition.

The US repeated its demand that Saleh immediately transfer authority.

Read more on:    ali abdullah saleh  |  hillary clinton  |  us  |  yemen  |  yemen protests  |  uprisings

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