The embattled president of Yemen arrived Saturday in the United States for medical treatment, according to a statement from the country's foreign press office.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh arrived at an unspecified location in the United States after a journey that took him from Oman, through London.

His staff has said he is in the United States to be treated for burns suffered during an assassination attempt in June.

The one-line Yemeni statement said Saleh was in the U.S. for a "short-term private medical visit."

After months of unrest, Saleh agreed in November to end his 33-year-rule of the Arab state. His trip comes as Yemen prepares for an election on Feb. 21 to select his successor.

It is unclear how long he intends to remain in the U.S. In a speech before he left Yemen for Oman a week ago, he promised to return home before the election, but the U.S. and its allies have pressured Saleh to leave Yemen for good.

American officials don't wish him to settle in the U.S., however, over concerns that it would be seen as harbouring an autocratic leader accused by many of his countrymen of using violence to remain in power. Opponents have accused him of trying to interfere in Yemen's new unity government, even after he supposedly relinquished authority two months ago. He spent three months previously in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, only to return to Yemen, prompting more protests.

Saleh's travel plans in the United States have not been disclosed for security reasons. It wasn't clear where he intended to stay while in the country, or where he would be receiving medical care.

He had been travelling on a chartered Emirates plane with a private doctor, several armed guards and relatives, according to an official in the Yemeni president's office who spoke with the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the details.