Washington renewed its support for the territorial integrity of Yemen on Friday, amid fears of a deepening split between the north and the south of the country.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki insisted that Hadi still remained the president, with parliament due to meet for emergency talks on Sunday to discuss the crisis. “It’s up to the Yemeni people to determine what the future is,” she told reporters.
At the same time the US again reduced its embassy staffing on Thursday, was “encouraging a reduction in violence and abiding the constitution.”
“We continue to support the unity of Yemen and Yemen’s legitimate institutions. That’s what we feel is in the interest of the Yemeni people,” she added.
“The Houthis are a legitimate political constituency in Yemen and have a right to participate in affairs of the state. We urge them to be a part of a peaceful transition process,” Psaki said.
Even though members have chanted anti-American slogans, Psaki said no threats had been made by the Huthi against US personnel.
While the embassy staffing has been reduced, the mission remains open and operational, she said.
Ambassador Matthew Tueller, who had been on leave, is due back in Sanaa in the coming days, she added.
“We take security risks in that particular part of the world very seriously, and the combatant commander has resources and assets at his disposal should he need them,” the Pentagon’s Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.