UAE evacuates embassy staff from Yemen capital

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Abu Dhabi, Feb 14: The United Arab Emirates has suspended operations at its embassy in Yemen and evacuated staff over security concerns after a Shiite militia seized power, the foreign ministry said on Saturday.

The move comes a day after Sunni-dominated regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia announced it had also evacuated all its staff from the embassy in Sanaa.

uae yemen embassy

The Shiite Houthi militia, accused of receiving backing from Shiite-dominated Iran, dissolved Yemen's government and parliament on February 6 after seizing the presidential palace and key government buildings.

The UAE foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the official WAM news agency that it "has suspended embassy operations in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and evacuated all staff.

"This decision comes in light of the increasingly deteriorating political and security situation" and the "unfortunate events with the Houthis undermining legitimate authority in the country."

France, Germany and Italy took similar action on Friday, two days after Britain, the Netherlands and the United States pulled out.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said this week that Yemen was "collapsing before our eyes" and called for Western-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to be restored to power.

Foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council are to meet later on Saturday in the Saudi capital Riyadh for expected talks on the Yemen crisis. Last week the GCC denounced the Huthi action as a coup.

PTI

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