Political Analysis

Saudi Ambassador returns to Yemen; consulate remains closed

National Yemen

Saudia Ambassador in Yemen

After leaving Yemen for more than four months, Saudi Ambassador Mohammed Bin-Ali Al-Hamdan returned to Yemen on Friday. Sources at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Sana’a said they expected progress in the crisis which resulted from the kidnapping of the Saudi Consul by Al-Qaeda militants in Aden.

Saudi Consul Abdullah Al-Khalidi was kidnapped in late May by Al-Qaeda militants, who released a video featuring Al-Khalidi on the internet in which the consul appealed to Saudi authorities to obtain his release.

Following a recent request by President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to Saudi King Abdullah that operations at the Saudi consulate in Sana’a fully resume, many Yemenis were given hope when the consulate again opened its doors. Thousands of passports were then carried into the consulate as part of many Yemenis’ hopes to undertake the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca.

However, the apparent re-opening ended up amounting to only a three-day window. The consulate has since closed its doors again, leaving many Yemenis’ travel plans in jeopardy.