France extends closure of Yemen embassy until Thursday

5th August 2013, Comments 0 comments

France said Monday it would extend the closure of its embassy in Yemen until Thursday, following in the footsteps of Britain and the United States over fears of an Al-Qaeda attack.

The embassy was among numerous Western embassies that closed Sunday and Monday in Sanaa after the US issued a worldwide alert warning of plans by Al-Qaeda to launch an attack in the Middle East or North Africa in August.

"Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has decided to extend the closure of the French embassy in Sanaa (Yemeni capital) until Wednesday August 7th inclusive," the ministry said in a statement.

French President Francois Hollande said on Sunday that the government had been informed "of threats concerning our installations overseas and even our nationals, threats coming from Al-Qaeda."

"I have already decided to close the French embassy in Yemen because there we have elements suggesting extremely serious threats. ... So this embassy will be closed for several days," he said in a statement.

Britain on Monday said its own embassy in Sanaa would remain shut until the end of Eid, due at the weekend.

And US officials have said that 19 diplomatic missions in the Middle East, including the embassy in Sanaa, and Africa will be closed until August 10, while stressing this is a cautionary measure and not linked to any new threat.

At least 25 US embassies and consular offices had initially been ordered closed Sunday in response to a terror threat, a move lawmakers said was prompted by intercepts of high-ranking Al-Qaeda operatives signaling a major attack.


© 2013 AFP

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