The United Arab Emirates closed its embassy in Yemen and evacuated staff over continuing security concerns after the Yemeni government fell and the militant Houthi group seized power, foreign ministry officials said in a statement Saturday.
The Houthis had “undermined the legitimate authority and the political transition based on the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] Initiative and results of the UN Security Council-backed national dialogue,” the ministry said.
The move comes a day after Saudi Arabia announced it had evacuated its embassy in the capital of Sanaa. In the past few days, the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy and France also did the same, Reuters reported.
The Houthi group dissolved Yemen’s government and parliament last Friday. They currently control key government buildings in Sanaa.
Arab Gulf countries have referred to the takeover as a “coup.” The Houthis say they have held a “revolution,” and that they will rid Yemen of political corruption and economic weakness.
Since seizing territory, the Houthis have tried to push further south, into territory controlled by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and tribal Sunni forces opposed to their rule.
At least 26 people have died in the ongoing clashes between the Houthis and tribal forces, Reuters reported, citing local officials.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called on the Security Council to take measures to put an end to the country’s political turmoil. "Let me be clear, Yemen is collapsing before our eyes. We cannot stand by and watch," Ban said, ABC News reported.
He called for former President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah to be granted freedom of movement. They have been placed under house arrest by the Houthis.
Ban also called for Hadi to be immediately restored as the country's president.