Saudi evacuates embassy staff from Yemen
RIYADH - Agence France-Presse
AFP PhotoSaudi Arabia has suspended operations at its embassy in Yemen and evacuated its staff because of the worsening situation in the capital Sanaa, controlled by a Shiite militia, the foreign ministry said Feb. 13.
"Due to the deteriorating security and political situation in the Yemeni capital, Saudi Arabia has suspended all embassy operations in Sanaa and evacuated all its staff, who have arrived safely in the kingdom," said a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.
The kingdom, Yemen's northern neighbour, is the first Arab country to evacuate embassy staff from Sanaa.
France, Germany and Italy took similar action Friday, after the United States and Britain pulled out earlier this week.
Riyadh's withdrawal came a day after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that Yemen is "collapsing before our eyes."
He addressed the Security Council following talks with Saudi King Salman last weekend in Riyadh, where the UN chief said Western-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour must be restored to power.
Huthi Shiite militia dissolved Yemen's government and parliament on February 6 after earlier seizing the presidential palace and key government buildings.
Saudi Arabia is the most powerful member of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, whose foreign ministers are to meet in Riyadh on Saturday, likely about Yemen.
Last Saturday the GCC denounced the Huthi action as a coup.