(AA) – The Egyptian ambassador to Yemen and his embassy’s staff have departed from southern Yemen’s Aden city on their way back to Cairo, the Anadolu Agency has learned.
Ambassador Youssef al-Sharqawi and embassy employees boarded a Cairo-bound flight from Aden International Airport at midnight after a several-day stay in Aden.
Last week, al-Sharqawi headed to Aden to invite Yemen’s embattled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to the upcoming Arab League Summit, which will be hosted by Egypt on Saturday and Sunday.
Observers, however, expect Hadi not to be able to attend the pan-Arab summit due to the ongoing turmoil in his country.
Last month, Cairo shut down its embassy in Yemeni capital Sanaa, citing security concerns following a de facto government takeover by the Shiite Houthi militant group.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia, which backs Hadi, said that Arab countries would be obliged to take action to counter what it called “aggression” in Yemen if that country’s crisis wasn’t resolved peacefully.
“We have hopes that the Yemeni crisis can be resolved in a peaceful manner,” Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal told reporters in Riyadh on Monday.
“If not, then neighboring countries will have to take the necessary steps to stop the aggression.”
Yemen began teetering on the brink of a civil war late last year when the Shiite Houthi group took control of capital Sanaa, placed the president under house arrest before he managed to flee to Aden and dissolved the elected parliament.
Apart from controlling Sanaa, the Shiite group has also sought to extend its influence to other provinces of Yemen, bringing it into conflict with Sunni tribes and Al-Qaeda.