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Mar 06,2009
Mauritania expels Israeli ambassador
by UPI

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania - Mauritania officials have expelled the Israeli ambassador and his staff after having frozen relations with Israel to protest its military operation in Gaza.

Mauritanian officials in the capital city of Nouakchott gave the embassy staff 48 hours to pack up and leave, IsraelNN reported Friday. Israel's Foreign Ministry confirmed the expulsion.

"This is the logical consequence of freezing of relations between Israel and Mauritania. ... This is nothing new," Mauritania military spokesman Gen. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz told reporters Friday.

Mauritania announced suspension of its diplomatic ties with Israel during an Arab summit meeting in Qatar two months ago. Qatar also said it was freezing its lower-level ties with Israel.

Jordan, Egypt and Mauritania, located on Africa's northwest coast, are the only Arab countries that have embassy-level diplomatic ties with Israel.

Venezuela expelled the Israeli ambassador and staff several weeks ago.

© 2009 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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