Saudi, Gulf diplomats evacuated via sea

Updated 29 March 2015

Saudi, Gulf diplomats evacuated via sea

Two warships from Aden arrived safely at the King Faisal Naval Base on Saturday morning. The ships carried 86 diplomats from the Saudi Embassy in Yemen, the Saudi Consulate in Aden, and a number of envoys from friendly countries.
Naval aviation forces and maritime special security units participated in the evacuation off the port of Aden. The action was taken according to prepared plans and there were no hiccups.
According to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), ships of the Saudi Arabian Royal Navy carried out the special operation in order to evacuate embassy and consulate employees as well as a number of diplomatic personnel from friendly countries.
The evacuation process was initiated on Wednesday morning, with the participation of “Al-Dammam” and “Yanbu,” both ships of the Western Fleet.
Evacuees were received by Western Region Commander Maj. Gen. Saad bin Ali Al-Qarni, Western Fleet Commander Adm. Saeed bin Mohamed Al-Zahrani, as well as the consul of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif instructed Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to make special arrangements for the evacuation of stranded Pakistanis. The national carrier arranged for two planes to depart for Yemen after receiving clearance from the Pakistani Embassy in Sanaa.
Shah Faisal, first secretary in Riyadh at the Pakistan Embassy, said: “Our embassy in Sanaa is functional and fully coordinating with the authorities on evacuation plans.”
When asked that if there is plan to evacuate Pakistani nationals through the Kingdom, he replied that there is no such plan in consideration and PIA will evacuate them from Yemeni cities.
The Indian government also plans to evacuate an estimated 3,500 stranded workers in Yemen via Djibouti, on the southern side of the Gulf of Aden, and has sent two ships for this purpose.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised its nationals against all travel plans to Yemen and advised British citizens to immediately leave the country.
Nicola Woodget, spokesperson of the British Embassy in Riyadh, said: “The British Embassy in Sanaa has suspended operations since Feb. 11. We do not have details about individual travel plans, but continue to urge them to follow our travel advice.” The Malaysian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that its citizens living in war-ravaged Yemen will be evacuated as soon as possible.


WATCH: Car ploughs through Grand Mosque courtyard in Makkah, crashes into door

Updated 3 min 28 sec ago

WATCH: Car ploughs through Grand Mosque courtyard in Makkah, crashes into door

  • Police say driver in ‘abnormal’ condition

RIYADH: Video footage captured the dramatic moment a car was driven at high speed across the courtyard of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, before finally smashing into one of the doors on Friday night.

Saudi security authorities then arrested a man who was pulled from the car, state news agency SPA reported.

Reports suggest the car was driven at high speed on a road surrounding the southern square the Grand Mosque, also known Masjid Haramain, SPA added, quoting the official spokesman of Makkah region, Sultan Al-Dossari.

He said the incident happened at around 10:30 p.m..

 

No one was hurt in the incident the report added.

Investigators said the driver of the car was a Saudi citizen who was “in an abnormal condition.” 

The offender is being referred to the Public Prosecution office, it said.