Israeli envoy banished from Venezuela: Chavez' door closedSubmitted by Hannah2 on Wed, 01/07/2009 - 23:25
Israeli envoy banished from Venezuela: Chavez' door closed
Ambassador to Venezuela talks to Ynet after being declared persona non grata
Published: 01.07.09, 16:55 / Israel News
Israel's Ambassador to Venezuela Shlomo Cohen has begun preparing for a swift departure from the country Tuesday after President Hugo Chavez declared he was a persona non grata because of Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip.
"This is the first time I'm being dismissed," Cohen told Ynet on Wednesday. "We're getting the paperwork together and preparing to close down the embassy as quickly as possible. We don't have much time to waste, since the government has ordered us to leave the country within 72 hours.
"I don't remember anything like it. This is a new low in the relations between the countries," he lamented.
A telegram sent by the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry to the Israeli embassy in Caracas informed the Israeli diplomats that the country has decided to expel the mission in light of the situation in Gaza, which President Hugo Chavez characterized as "genocide."
In a speech delivered by Chavez later in the day he declared that the presidents of Israel and the United States should be tried for war crimes in an international court.
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