Saturday, February 14, 2015

Saudi Arabia Closes Embassy in Yemen, Evacuates Staff


RIYADH – Saudi Arabia closed its embassy in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on Friday and evacuated all employees of its diplomatic mission to Yemen, in light of what the Saudi government called the deteriorating political situation in the country.

According to an official from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Saudi authorities decided to evacuate its diplomats and staff because of “insecure” conditions prevailing in Yemen.

All of the Saudi nationals evacuated have arrived in Riyadh “safe and sound” according to the agency.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia, an important Sunni ally of the Yemen’s former Sunni-dominated governments, called on the Shiite Houthi rebel group to conduct negotiations with Yemeni authorities to end the political crisis in the neighboring country.

The United States, France and Britain have closed also their embassies in Sana’a and evacuated their diplomatic missions due to the deteriorating security situation and fear of possible terrorist attacks.

The Houthi militia has seized control of several government buildings, including presidential palaces and other key institutional headquarters in Sana’a, while extending its control to seven Yemeni provinces.

Last week the Shiite formation issued a “constitutional declaration” in which it said the Houthis were dissolving parliament and forming a transitional presidential council to fill the void left by former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who resigned under pressure from the Houthis.


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