SANAA, Yemen — A top Yemeni official says outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh has delivered a farewell speech, apologizing for mistakes and saying it is time to hand over power and leave.
The official told The Associated Press on Sunday that Saleh gathered top political, military and security officials and announced promotion of Yemeni Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to the rank of marshal.
"I appeal to you to forgive my past mistakes," the official quoted Saleh as saying. "Today, I leave the country in your hands," he said, according to the official, who was among those attended the event early in the morning. In November Saleh signed a power transfer deal but has balked at actually leaving.
The official requested of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.