The United States government has decided to temporarily relocate its Yemeni-based diplomatic staff to Jeddah.
The announcement came as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived here Wednesday to hold consultations with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on the emerging nuclear deal with Iran and ways to tackle the instability in Yemen. Stewart Wight, a spokesman of the US embassy, said here Wednesday: “In order to enhance and continue our engagement with Yemenis and regional partners, we have been working on arrangements for US Ambassador to Yemen Matthew Tueller and his team to work from the US Consulate in Jeddah.”
“Jeddah was chosen due to its close geographical proximity to Yemen and central location among regional players,” said Wight. “We hope to return to Sanaa as soon as conditions permit,” he added.
Tueller traveled Monday to Aden to visit President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, calling him the “legitimate” leader of the country. He said the US State Department suspended all embassy operations in Yemen on Feb. 11 and officials based in Sanaa were moved out of the country. All consular services in Sanaa have been suspended until further notice, he said.
He called on US citizens seeking routine or emergency services to contact the nearest US embassy or consulate for assistance. “We have designated the American embassy in Cairo and embassy in Algiers to assist Yemenis with pending immigrant visa applications,” said Wight.
Wight said Kerry would participate in meetings Thursday, including with Gulf foreign ministers. The discussions would focus on Yemen, the so-called Islamic State group, and other issues.
The US secretary’s visit comes in the wake of Gulf Cooperation Council members expressing concerns about the deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

Kerry is visiting Riyadh to also reassure King Salman that a nuclear deal with Iran would benefit Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region, observers believe. Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, and Kerry will address a joint press conference after the talks on Thursday.

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