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Middle east

Israel closes embassy after Gaza dispute

Latest update : 2009-03-06

Israel has closed down its embassy in Mauritania, one of the few Arab nations to have diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. This comes after the African country froze ties with Israel in the wake of the latter's offensive against the Gaza Strip.

AFP - Israel on Friday closed down its embassy in Mauritania, one of three Arab nations that has diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, the foreign ministry said, in the wake of a dispute over the Gaza war.
"Following a January 16 decision of the Mauritanian government to freeze ties with Israel, and at the request of Mauritania, Israel today closed its embassy in Nouakchott," a foreign ministry statement said.
Mauritania called back its ambassador in Israel in the wake of the 22-day offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that was launched on December 27.
In Nouakchott a diplomatic source said the Israeli flag and security measures, including surveillance cameras, had been taken down overnight and embassy staff were expected to leave Mauritania on Friday or Saturday.
It was not clear if the embassy closure was temporary or permanent, signalling a break in diplomatic ties which date from 1999.
Egypt and Jordan are the only other Arab countries to have formal diplomatic relations with Israel.

Date created : 2009-03-06