2 October 2013 - 10:59
US expels 3 Venezuelan diplomats

TEHRAN, Oct. 2 (MNA) – The United Sates ordered the expulsion of three Venezuelan diplomats on Tuesday in response to Venezuela’s Sep. 30 decision to boot three US officials out of the South American country.

The State Department said it was expelling Venezuelan charge d'affaires Calixto Ortega Rios and Second Secretary Monica Alejandra Sanchez Morales at the Washington embassy and Consul Marisol Gutierrez de Almeida at the Houston consulate, according to the Associated Press.

"It is regrettable that the Venezuelan government has again decided to expel US diplomatic officials based on groundless allegations, which require reciprocal action. It is counterproductive to the interests of both our countries," the department said.

The State Department gave the three diplomats 48 hours to leave the US soil.

On Monday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the expulsion of US charge d'affaires Kelly Keiderling, the highest-ranking US envoy in the country, and two other diplomats.

Maduro accused the American diplomats of conspiring with "the extreme right" to sabotage Venezuela’s economy and power grid.

"While the government of the United States does not understand that it has to respect our country's sovereignty there will be simply be no cordial relations nor cordial communication," the Venezuelan president said earlier Tuesday.

The US diplomats rejected the allegation. In a news conference in Caracas, Keiderling said she and her expelled colleagues would leave Venezuela on Wednesday.

"The work of the embassy will continue. It doesn't matter very much if it is one person or another" doing it, she said, as reported by the AP.

ARA/ARA

Source: presstv.ir

MNA

END

News Code 56711

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