Canada expels Eritrean diplomat

Ottawa, May 29 (IANS) Canada has declared persona non grata a diplomat of the east African nation of Eritrea and ordered him to leave by June 5, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Wednesday.

Semere Ghebremariam O. Micael is the consul and head of the Eritrean Consulate General in Toronto, Xinhua reported.

“Mr. O. Micael must leave Canada no later than noon Eastern time on June 5, 2013,” Baird was quoted as saying in a statement.

He did not provide any reason for the action. “Today’s actions speak for themselves,” he said.

However, Baird said the Eritrean government was welcome to propose another candidate to represent it in Canada, but that person must be prepared to play by the rules.

“Our resolve on this matter should not be further tested,” Baird said.

Relations between Canada and Eritrea are limited. Canada’s ambassador to Eritrea resides in Khartoum, Sudan, while Eritrea has an embassy in Washington that is responsible for Canada and a consulate in Toronto.

Canada has repeatedly made it clear to Eritrea to respect UN sanctions regarding its neighbour Somalia.

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