Wednesday

25th Jan 2017

Two hundred EU citizens still in Yemen

  • Anti-Saleh cartoon - EU capitals do not expect him to go back to Yemen (Photo: Khalid Albaih)

About 200 EU nationals are still in Yemen but most of them do not want to leave despite the threat of civil war after President Ali Abdullah Saleh fled to Saudi Arabia.

The majority of the group are German citizens, followed by British and French people, according to reports sent in to Brussels by EU foreign ministries. Poland and Romania also have sizeable numbers still in the country.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Many of the stay-behinds are EU passport-holding women married to Yemeni men, and their children. Commercial flights are still operating out of Sanaa airport but foreign nationals who have stuck it out so far are unlikely to leave now, EU officials predict.

Most of the major EU embassies in Sanaa have shut up shop, reducing the flow of information about fast-changing events.

The Dutch, German and Italian embassies have closed. The British mission has kept going with "core staff" only and Catherine Ashton's EU outpost has also stayed open with "essential staff." The French embassy is working normally, with three French citizens - believed kidnapped - missing in the country since late May.

The 69-year-old President Saleh was flown to Riyadh at the weekend for surgery on shrapnel wounds and burns.

Yemeni officials on Monday said he would be back in a few days. But EU capitals are sceptical he will return. "I shouldn't think so because he apparently took so many close members of his family with him," one EU diplomat said.

Opposition leaders have told international media they accept the rule of Saleh's deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, for the time being. But reports indicate at least three more people died during skirmishes between pro- and anti-Saleh forces on Monday.

Ashton in an official statement on Monday afternoon said: "Violence must stop. We call on all the parties to respect and hold the ceasefire."

She noted the EU still supports a Saudi Arabia-sponsored plan for Saleh to step down in return for legal immunity and life in exile: "We remain committed to supporting a political transition in Yemen and call on all the parties to create the necessary conditions for this to happen quickly."

Trump pledges US-first foreign policy

Economic protectionism and war on Islamist terrorism will form the heart of US foreign policy, Trump has said. He did not rubbish Nato, but indicated interest in a new Russia alliance.

News in Brief

  1. VW's internal Dieselgate probe not yet done
  2. Israel defies EU policy with huge settlement expansion
  3. Martin Schulz to be candidate for German chancellor
  4. EU commission gives MEPs Dieselgate paper at last moment
  5. EU parliament committee backs EU-Canada deal
  6. UK MPs must vote on Brexit trigger, court rules
  7. Greek island mayors plead for the transfer of migrants
  8. Tzipi Livni cancels Brussels trip amid war crimes probe

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsKyrgyzstan: no Justice for Human Rights Defender Azimjan Askarov
  2. Dialogue PlatformThe Influence of Turkish Politics in Europe After the Coup Attempt
  3. World VisionEU Urged to do Better Ahead of Helsinki Conference on Syria
  4. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  5. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  6. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  7. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  8. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  9. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  10. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  11. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  12. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism

Latest News

  1. No Turkey-type migrant deal with Libya, says EU commission
  2. EU to Trump: Protectionism is 'doomed to fail'
  3. The French town that swung from socialist to far-right
  4. UK parliament must give Brexit approval, judges rule
  5. 'No indication' VW used EU loans to cheat
  6. Fillon promotes pro-Russia views in Berlin
  7. Dutch PM tells people to 'act normal, or go away'
  8. EU to step up effort against Russian and Islamist propaganda