UK, France Close Embassies in Yemen Following Similar US Move

© AP Photo / Hani MohammedHouthi Shiite Yemenis chant slogans during a rally to show support for their comrades in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015
Houthi Shiite Yemenis chant slogans during a rally to show support for their comrades in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Britain and France closed its embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and evacuated embassy staff over security concerns following the takeover of much of the country by Shiite rebels.

Houthi Shiite Yemenis chant slogans during a rally to show support for their comrades in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 - Sputnik International
US Closes Embassy in Yemen Over Security After Houthi Coup – Source
The UK and France have closed its embassies in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and evacuated embassy staff over security concerns following the takeover of much of the country by Shiite rebels.

London’s move comes hard on the heels of a similar decision by the United States, which moved out its diplomatic staff on Tuesday.

“The security situation in Yemen has continued to deteriorate over recent days,” UK Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said in a statement.

“Regrettably we now judge that our embassy staff and premises are at increased risk.”

According to a statement published on the French embassy's site, Paris called on French nationals to leave Yemen as soon as possible.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks at a news conference in Riyadh February 8, 2015 - Sputnik International
UN, Arab League Criticize Yemen's Houthi Takeover
The State Department confirmed late Tuesday that it had closed the US Embassy in Yemen and evacuated its staff, the Associated Press reports.

Washington announced it had suspended operations at the mission in Sanaa and relocated its remaining diplomatic personnel “due to the ongoing political instability and the uncertain security situation.”

The State Department also issued a travel warning advising US citizens to defer travel to Yemen and urging US citizens currently living in Yemen to depart.

Yemen has been in turmoil for months, as the Shiite majority Houthi rebels have slowly taken control of the capital.

Last Friday, the Houthis issued a Constitutional Declaration according to which the country will be run by a Presidential Council, with a National Interim Council to be set up in lieu of a dissolved parliament. 

The council will then appoint a five-member board to manage the affairs of state.

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