21:53 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Smoke rises during the battle between former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's supporters and the Houthi fighters in Sanaa, Yemen December 2, 2017

    Russia to Suspend Diplomatic Presence in Yemen, Ambassador to Work From Riyadh

    © REUTERS / Mohamed al-Sayaghi
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    All Russian diplomatic staff in Sanaa has left, according to the Foreign Ministry.

    According to the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, Moscow has decided to suspend its diplomatic presence in Yemen "due to the situation in Sanaa," with part of the mission set to temporarily perform their duties from Riyadh.

    All Russian diplomatic staff in Sanaa has left, Zakharova stated on Monday.

    Previously, the Russian Foreign Ministry voiced concern over the situation in Yemen after the killing of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, calling for a national dialogue.

    READ MORE: Unverified Graphic Footage Allegedly Shows Corpse of Yemen's Ex-President Saleh

    According to Zakharova, Moscow hopes that both regional and international actors will use the influence they have on the parties to the Yemeni conflict in order to persuade them to stop the violence and to end the hostilities via the political means.

    Since late November, the Yemeni capital has been mired in deadly clashes between the troops loyal to Saleh and Houthis, with the fighting culminating in the killing of the former president by his former allies, the Shiite rebels.

    Saleh and the Houthis used to be allies in the struggle against the government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, however, for several days, they have been engaged in heavy clashes that have claimed the lives of hundreds after the rebels had attempted to carry out a coup and forbade loyal servicemen to obey their orders.

    READ MORE: President Hadi Urges Yemen to Unite Against Houthis After Saleh's Death — Media

    In his speech, described by the Houthis as "deceitful," Saleh announced that he was ready to turn "a new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition, which had been fighting the Houthi movement since 2015 at the request of President Hadi.

    Following Saleh's killing, President Mansour Hadi has urged all Yemenis to rise against the Houthis.


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