US extends closure of 19 diplomatic posts in Middle East
US State Department spokesperson said the embassies were going to be closed in accordance with local custom and practice for the bulk of the week for Eid celebration at the end of Ramzan.
Washington: The US has announced to extend closure of its 19 diplomatic posts till August 10, while nine of its embassies and consulates which were closed, will resume normal operations on Monday.
"Given that a number of our embassies and consulates were going to be closed in accordance with local custom and practice for the bulk of the week for Eid celebration at the end of Ramzan, and out of an abundance of caution, we've decided to extend closure of several embassies and consulates, including a small number of additional posts," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
She asserted that this was not an indication of a new threat stream, but merely an indication of US commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect its employees, including local employees, and visitors to its facilities, she said. "Posts in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antanarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis are instructed to close for normal operations on Monday through Saturday, August 10," Psaki said.
The posts in Dhaka, Algiers, Nouakchott, Kabul, Herat, Mazar el Sharif, Baghdad, Basrah, and Erbil, that normally remain open Sunday but were closed yesterday, are authorised to reopen for normal operations today, the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the CNN said an intercepted message among senior al-Qaeda operatives in the last several days raised alarm bells, that led to the closing of embassies and consulates across the Middle East and North Africa yesterday.