Britain to close embassy in Yemen for two days due to security concerns

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 02, 2013 4:33 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Friday that it will close its embassy in Yemen on August 4 and 5 due to "increased security concerns", after the United States announced a number of its embassies would also shut on Sunday.

"We are particularly concerned about the security situation in the final days of Ramadan and into Eid," the Foreign Office said in a statement, referring to the Muslim holy month which ends on Wednesday evening.

The Foreign Office did not say there were any specific threats but said that it constantly reviewed the security of staff and its embassies.

The U.S. State Department said on Thursday American embassies that would normally be open this Sunday - including those in Abu Dhabi, Baghdad and Cairo - would be closed that day because of unspecified security concerns.

On Friday, it also issued a global travel alert.

The European Union said that it would be taking "all necessary precautions" following the U.S. announcement.

"We are aware of the move by the U.S. and we are in contact with our U.S. counterparts," European Commission spokesman Alexandre Polack said on Friday.

"Delegations of the EU in the affected region are liaising with U.S. embassies."

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)