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Turkey stops embassy operations in Yemen

16 February 2015 20:22

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Turkey has closed its embassy in Yemen and evacuated its ambassador and all diplomatic staff over what it described as the “deterioration in security” in the impoverished Arab country.

“We hope that the authority of the state is reestablished in Yemen so that we can resume our diplomatic services in this friendly state.” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Embassy closures in Yemen

Earlier on Monday, Japan said it was temporarily closing its embassy in Yemen due to fears of worsening violence.

The development came only two days after the Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the closure of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) diplomatic mission in Yemen due to what it claimed to be the increasing deterioration of the political and security situation in the country.

In a separate development on Saturday, Spain announced that it had suspended operations at its mission in Sana’a.

On Friday, the Italian Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying the country’s ambassador and embassy staff are returning home from the country’s 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.

Moreover, Germany’s ambassador and its diplomatic staff in Sana’a 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 February 11, 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 in the day, UK Government Minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Tobias Ellwood 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,” Ellwood 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.

Ansarullah revolutionaries in control of Sana’a

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

The Ansarullah fighters announced a constitutional declaration on the Transitional National Council, which is expected to replace the country’s parliament.

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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