US embassy in Qatar and 18 other diplomatic missions closed for a week
The United States Department of State has announced that its embassy in Qatar, as well as many other embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa will be shut down for the rest of the week.
Many of those 19 diplomatic missions were closed today amid an unspecified regional threat from al-Qaeda. Two days ago, the US State Department issued a worldwide alert about a possible attack, “particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula.”
In a press statement, a State Department spokesperson said these latest closure were being made “out of an abundance of caution” and would not be disruptive given that most would be shut “in accordance with local custom and practice” for Eid holidays.
The statement continues:
This is not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect our employees including local employees and visitors to our facilities.
The embassies and consulates that will now be closed from Monday, Aug. 5 through Sat. August 10 are in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antanarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis.
Those that are allowed to reopen after only a one-day closure are Dhaka, Algiers, Nouakchott, Kabul, Herat, Mazar el Sharif, Baghdad, Basrah, and Erbil.
Credit: Photo of US embassy in Qatar by Mostafa Sheshtawy