Written statement to Parliament

Temporary suspension of operations at the British Embassy in Sana'a

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood has updated parliament on the decision to suspend temporarily the services of the British Embassy in Sana’a and to withdraw diplomatic staff.

The Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP

Minister for the Middle East Mr Tobias Ellwood:

I wish to inform the House that the Foreign Secretary has taken the decision on security grounds to suspend temporarily the services of the British Embassy in Sana’a and to withdraw diplomatic staff.

We have maintained an Embassy in Sana’a despite the violence to help us communicate with political actors in Yemen and provide insight into the situation on the ground. Throughout this period we have kept the security situation under constant review. Regrettably the security situation in Yemen has continued to deteriorate over recent days and the risk to our Embassy staff and premises increased. Therefore we decided to withdraw diplomatic staff and suspend temporarily the operations of the British Embassy in Sana’a. Our Ambassador and diplomatic staff have now returned to the UK.

We advise British Nationals who remain in Yemen, despite our longstanding and consistent message to leave the country, to leave immediately.

We continue to believe that a stable, united, democratic and prosperous Yemen is the best future for the country. We will continue to work with international partners to help Yemen achieve a legitimate, transparent political transition in which all Yemenis are represented.

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Published 12 February 2015