December 12, 2017 / 2:59 PM / 5 months ago

Russia suspends diplomatic presence in Yemen, moves envoy to Riyadh: agencies

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has suspended its diplomatic presence in Yemen and all its staff have left the country due to the situation in the capital Sanaa, the RIA news agency cited Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying on Tuesday.

The Russian ambassador to Yemen and some diplomatic staff will be working temporarily out of the Saudi capital Riyadh, the Interfax news agency cited the ministry as saying.

Yemen’s conflict, pitting the Houthi movement against a Saudi-led military alliance which backs a government based in the south, has unleashed what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

A Russian plane evacuated embassy staff and some Russian nationals from Sanaa earlier on Tuesday, Saudi state news agency SPA said, citing the Saudi-led military coalition fighting against the Houthi movement that controls the Yemeni capital.

The agency quoted an official source in the coalition as saying it had received a request for permission for a Russian plane to evacuate the personnel, and that the plane had left Sanaa airport.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn in Moscow and Maha El Dahan in Dubai; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Christian Lowe

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