State Department Announces Temporary Shut Down of Numerous Embassies and Consulates
The State Department reports it will temporarily shut down a number of U.S. Embassies and Consulates in the Middle East and North Africa on Sunday, August 4, 2013, in response to an unspecified threat. Those affected by the closures may include embassies in Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf did not say how long the international installations would stay closed – only that the decision was taken “out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting.” Government officials have not described the nature of the threat.
The last time the State Department issued such a widespread warning was last year in advance of expected attacks to mark the anniversary of 9/11. Since the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, and a string of demonstrations on other U.S. embassies in the Middle East and North Africa, the issue of U.S. security abroad has been prominent. The House and Senate have already approved spending bills that cover embassy security.
If your scheduled visa appointment is impacted by these closures, contact our immigration attorneys for assistance.