- Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP
- Part of:
- Peace and stability in the Middle East and North Africa and Yemen
- 12 February 2015
- Delivered on:
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.
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