The Netherlands has extended the closure of its embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, withdrawing all of its diplomatic personnel due to security concerns, following a similar move by other European countries.
Amsterdam made the decision based on information from different intelligence services that its mission could potentially be targeted by a planned ‘terror attack,’ said the Netherlands Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans in a statement issued on Wednesday. A number of European countries, including Norway, France, Britain and Germany, decided to close their embassies in Yemen earlier this week. The move followed a US decision to close some of its embassies for the fear that al-Qaeda may be planning to conduct attacks. French President Francois Hollande also announced plans on August 3 to close the French Embassy in Yemen for “several days” over security reasons. On August 6, the Yemeni Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “the evacuation of embassy staff serves the interests of the extremists.” The United States also closed 21 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa, saying that the country’s embassies and consulates in 19 cities will remain closed until next Saturday. The US Department of State came under fire last year after the American consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi was attacked on September 11, leading to the death of four people, including US Ambassador Chris Stevens.