Yemen's ex-president Saleh leaves for Saudi Arabia for medical treatment

Officials at the airport of Yemen's capital Sanaa say former president Ali Abdullah Saleh has left for Saudi Arabia for medical treatment on a special Saudi plane.

A senior member of Saleh's Congress Party confirmed Tuesday that the former president will be hospitalized at a Riyadh hospital but did not say what kind of treatment Saleh will receive. He said the party will issue a statement later.

Saleh has been under international pressure to leave the country. His critics accuse him of trying to impede the work of a landmark national dialogue conference that opened two weeks ago, seen as a key step in a power transfer plan for the conflict-torn nation.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief the media.