Germany, Italy close embassies in Yemen

- Berlin and Rome shut down missions in Sana'a as security deteriorates in Yemen.

BERLIN (AA) - Germany and Italy have announced that they have shut down their embassies in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a due to mounting insecurity.

Germany’s deputy foreign ministry spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli said Friday that the German diplomatic staff in Yemen had left the country.

"We have decided to temporarily close our embassy in Sana'a. All of our diplomatic staff has left the country early on Friday," Chebli said at a press conference in Berlin.

Chebli voiced concern over the deteriorating security situation in the country after the Houthi militant group seized power and dissolved the parliament.

"That is totally unacceptable," Chebli said, adding the action could have a "negative impact" in the region.

Chebli expressed Germany’s support for the mediation efforts of the UN's Yemen envoy Jamal Benomar towards a political solution through dialogue among the conflicting parties.

- Militant attack

Italy also announced the closure of its embassy in Sana'a, with a brief statement from the Italian Foreign Ministry, saying: "The decision was taken in the framework of international coordination."

The U.S., U.K., French and Dutch embassies in Sana'a announced earlier this week that they would be suspending operations because of growing turmoil.

Yemen's Shia Houthi rebels dissolved the parliament last week and said they would establish a "transitional council" and a government of technocrats to run the country for two years.

Houthi militants attacked activists participating in anti-Houthi rallies in Sana'a on Wednesday, according to eyewitnesses.

Yemen has been dogged by turmoil since pro-democracy protests forced autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in 2012 after 33 years in power.

According to the government, al-Qaeda remains active in several parts of the country's south, from which it stages sporadic attacks on army and police personnel.

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