Muhammed Muheisen, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this Friday, April 8, 2011 file photo, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh reacts while looking at his supporters, not pictured, during a rally supporting him, in Sanaa,Yemen. Yemeni officials say outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh will leave soon to Oman, en route to medical treatment in the United States. Washington has been trying to get Saleh out of Yemen _ though not to settle in the U.S. _ to allow a peaceful transition from his rule. However, there appear to be differences whether Saleh would remain in exile.

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.