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April 7, 2003
 
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Cuba Will Keep Baghdad Embassy Open
Cuba Says It Will Keep Its Embassy Open in Baghdad 'For Reasons of Principle'

The Associated Press


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HAVANA April 7

Cuba will keep its embassy open in Baghdad, the Foreign Ministry announced Monday, a day after Russia evacuated most of its embassy staff.

Cuban Ambassador Ernesto Gomez Abascal and four other Cuban diplomats have remained to staff the mission, the ministry said. Other embassy personnel and their family members left Baghdad a month before.

"Our colleagues have remained there for reasons of principle despite the dangers to fulfill their jobs as diplomats and to keep their country informed of the development of events," the ministry said in a statement. "Their position as diplomats is absolutely neutral."

Many of Baghdad's estimated 60 embassies including those of Portugal, Spain, Thailand and Japan pulled out their staff before the war began.

The Russian convoy of departing diplomats, including its ambassador, came under fire Sunday, injuring at least four people.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
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