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UAE closes embassy in Yemen

14 February 2015 21:12

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced the closure of its embassy and the evacuation of all diplomatic staff in Yemen over ‘security concerns’.

The Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Saturday that it has suspended operations at the diplomatic mission due to what it claimed to be the increasing deterioration of the political and security situation in Yemen.

The development comes a day after the Italian Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying the country’s ambassador and embassy staff are returning home from the Italian embassy in Yemen.

The ministry further expressed hope that through the mediation of the UN special envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, security would be restored to Yemen in order to pave the way for the reopening of its embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.

Germany’s ambassador and its diplomatic staff in Sana’a also left Yemen on Friday.

Also on Friday, Saudi Arabia suspended its diplomatic activities in Yemen, and the embassy staff were asked to return to the Persian Gulf Arab kingdom.

On Wednesday, the French embassy in Yemen said in a statement that it will be closed from Friday until further notice, calling on all French nationals to leave the country due to “recent political developments and security reasons.”

The personnel of the British embassy as well as the British ambassador had left the Yemeni capital earlier on Wednesday, UK Government Minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Tobias Elwood said.

“The security situation in Yemen has continued to deteriorate over recent days. Regrettably we now judge that our Embassy staff and premises are at increased risk,” Elwood said in a statement posted on the embassy’s website, adding, “We have therefore decided to withdraw diplomatic staff and temporarily suspend the operations of the British Embassy in Sana’a.”

In a similar move on the same day, the US closed its embassy in Yemen, citing security concerns.

Last week, the Houthi movement dissolved the Yemeni parliament, following weeks of clashes with government forces.

The Ansarullah fighters of the Shia Houthi movement announced a constitutional declaration on the Transitional National Council, which is expected to replace the country’s parliament, which had earlier dissolved.

The Ansarullah revolutionaries say the Yemeni government has been incapable of properly running the affairs of the country and providing security. Before gaining control of the capital, Sana’a, Ansarullah had set a deadline for the political parties to put aside differences and fill the power vacuum, but the deadline was missed without any change in the political scene of the country.

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