3 European States, UAE Shut Embassies in Yemen

3 European States, UAE Shut Embassies in Yemen3 European States, UAE Shut Embassies in Yemen

Germany closed its embassy in Yemen, citing security concerns after the recent takeover of the country by Houthi militants. Italy and Spain also made the move, joining the diplomatic exodus, which includes the US, UK and France. The United Arab Emirates also said they had suspended operations in Yemen.

A spokeswoman for Germany’s Foreign Ministry in Berlin said the country’s embassy in Yemen had been temporarily closed and staff had already left owing to worries about security in the increasingly unstable Arab nation. All German nationals in Yemen were advised to leave, DW said in a report.

Italy announced that it would take those same measures on Friday. Earlier in the week, the US, UK and France announced they were shutting their embassies for the time being.

The UAE foreign ministry said in a statement that it “has suspended embassy operations in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and evacuated all staff.

Yemen has been the site of mass protests by supporters and opponents of the Houthi movement, which has ousted the impoverished country’s president, dissolved parliament and declared they were taking over the government. The Houthis overran the capital Sanaa in September last year.

Al-Qaeda group in the Arabian Peninsula, an enemy of the Houthis, is also active in Yemen. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday warned, “Yemen is collapsing before our eyes.”

Security officials said heavy clashes between Houthi fighters and tribesmen fighting alongside al-Qaeda militants in the southern mountainous province of al-Bayda on Saturday killed 16 Houthis along with 10 tribesmen and militants