Britain and US shut Yemen embassies
Britons in Yemen have been advised to leave immediately after the British embassy was closed, following a takeover of the country by Shiite rebels.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said today diplomatic staff were being withdrawn from the country's capital Sanaa amid security fears, saying they were at "increased risk". The US State Department also said it had closed its embassy and evacuated staff.
Last week, in a televised announcement, the country's Houthi rebels said they had dissolved Yemen's parliament and were forming a five-member presidential council to replace President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi for an interim two-year period.
Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said: "The security situation in Yemen has continued to deteriorate over recent days. Regrettably we now judge that our embassy staff and premises are at increased risk.
"We have therefore decided to withdraw diplomatic staff and temporarily suspend the operations of the British embassy in Sanaa. Our ambassador and diplomatic staff have left Yemen this morning and will return to the UK.
"British nationals who remain in Yemen despite our longstanding and consistent message to leave the country should 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 internationally to help Yemen achieve a legitimate, transparent political transition in which all Yemenis are represented."