By Amie Parnes - 12/27/11 04:05 PM EST
The White House disputed a news report late Monday that Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen's embattled president, had been allowed to enter the U.S. for specialized medical treatment, "subject to certain assurances."
"U.S. officials are continuing to consider President Saleh's request to enter the country for the sole purpose of seeking medical treatment, but initial reports that permission has already been granted are not true," Josh Earnest, the White House principal deputy press secretary, said in a statement.
The news report, which cited two administration officials, said a path had been cleared for Saleh but a proposed itinerary and a visa had not yet been issued.
Still, one official told the newspaper that there was no further "impediment" to issuing a visa to Saleh and that he could be admitted to a New York hospital at the end of the week.
The White House would not say when a decision would be made on Saleh. But officials emphasized that if the visa is granted, it would be for the sole purpose of obtaining medical treatment.
Saleh's medical injuries are the result of a severe bomb blast on his presidential compound in June.