UK extends Yemen embassy closure

Last Updated: Monday, August 5, 2013 - 17:32

London: Britain has extended the temporary closure of its embassy in Yemen until the end of the festival of Eid due to continuing security concerns.

The mission had been set to reopen tomorrow after a two-day shutdown as part of global fears of a terrorist attack but the Britain`s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) confirmed it would now remain shut for the festival, ending later in the week.

"Due to continuing security concerns the British embassy in Yemen will remain closed until the end of Eid," a spokesperson said here today.

The FCO also continues to advice against all travel to the region and has urged British nationals to leave the country. Several hundred Britons are thought to live in Yemen, with most working for the embassy, charities, UN organisations and oil companies.

The French foreign ministry also extended the closure of its embassy in Yemen for two additional days after keeping its doors shut on Sunday and Monday.

Unlike the US, the UK kept its embassies in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Iraq open over the weekend, but advised staff to "exercise extra vigilance".

It has been suggested that Al Qaeda messages reportedly intercepted by the US were between senior figures talking about a plot against an embassy.
The State Department in Washington said the extended closures of its embassies were "out of an abundance of caution", and not a reaction to a new threat.
The US said 19 of its embassies in North Africa and the Middle East would remain closed until Saturday. Its diplomat missions in Algiers, Kabul and Baghdad are among those which will reopen on Monday.


First Published: Monday, August 5, 2013 - 17:32

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