Tens of citizens seeking to perform Hajj (pilgrimage) this year and citizens working in Hajj agencies attended a rally in the Yemen capital of Sana'a, calling for reopening the Saudi embassy which has been closed on the back of kidnapping Riyadh's Deputy Counsel Abdullah al-Kaledi.
The protesters marched through the sixty meters street in downtown Sana'a carrying banners demanding that both President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi and the custodian of the two holy mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz work to reopen the embassy after months of closure.
The further carried the two leaders' posters as well as banners condemning abducting the Saudi diplomat.
They made it clear that they are affected by the closure of the embassy, demanding that the embassy resumes its duties of receiving visa applications and paperwork and of allowing the Hajj and Omra seekers to practice their religious obligations.
Slogans chanted in the rally included, "The people want to perform Omra in Ramadan," apparently influenced by the slogans made during the protests of the Arab Spring.
Meanwhile, Abdul-Rahman al-Sharabi, a high-ranking official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quoted by Xinhua—the official Chinese news agency—as saying that reopening the Saudi embassy is contingent on releasing the kidnapped diplomat by al-Qaeda.
On March 28, which marked the last day of his five-year tenure in the country, al-Kaledi was abducted by gunmen affiliated to the terror network of al-Qaeda from nearby his residence in the southern port city of Aden. Several mediations aiming to release al-Kaledi failed so far.
However, on Wednesday a tribal chief was quoted by Xinhua as saying that negotiations with al-Qaeda that aim to ensure a safe release for the Saudi diplomat resumed. The unnamed tribal chief predicted that this time the mediation is going to bear fruit and be culminated with freeing al-Kaledi.
He revealed, according to the Chinese agency, that the tribal mediation committee offered to pay 150 million Saudi Riyals as a ransom for the kidnappers in exchange for releasing the official.