Yemen changes visa rules as part of fight against terrorism
The Yemeni authorities announced on Thursday that they would stop granting entry visas to travellers at the country's international airports in a bid to "halt terrorist infiltration," the Saba state news agency reported. "Yemen has stopped granting visas at the airport to halt terrorist infiltration," Saba said.
Separately, a military official said that "in light of this decision, granting visas to foreigners will take place only through the embassies of Yemen, and after consulting security authorities to verify the identities of travellers." This is to "prevent the infiltration of any suspected terrorist elements," he was quoted by the defence ministry newspaper September 26 as saying. According to Saba, granting visas in Yemeni airports was applied before for promoting tourism in Yemen.
On his part, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has declared the suspension of direct flights from Yemen until further security measures are agreed. However, a British diplomat denied on Thursday the intention of the UK and US to interfere or to have any military existence in Yemen. In a press conference held in the Yemeni capital, British ambassador to Yemen Tim Torlot said that "Yemenis are smart and realize the threats of al-Qaeda and the damages of its terrorist operations on the country".