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Norway closes 15 diplomatic missions in Middle East, North Africa

August 06, 2013, 4:37 UTC+3
Ministry officials say the temporary closures will embrace the embassies in Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia
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Photo ITAR-TASS / Alexander Astafev

Photo ITAR-TASS / Alexander Astafev

OSLO, August 6 (Itar-Tass) - A total of fifteen Norwegian diplomatic missions will be closed through to the end of the week in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, an official spokesman for the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said Monday night.

Ministry officials say the temporary closures will embrace the embassies in Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia.

Security measures have been tightened on the territory of the Norwegian embassy in Riyadh and in other parts of the region “following security warnings issued by the United States,” press officer Frode Andersen said.

The aforementioned embassies will not receive visitors in the coming few days but emails and telephone calls will be answered, he said.

"The closure is to protect our embassies and personnel abroad," Andersen told Norwegian media.

He added there were no plans to halt activity in foreign missions completely. "The embassies Norway followed Britain, Canada, and France in heeding the U.S. security warnings and announcing a provisional closure of its embassies in the African countries and the Middle East due to a growth of the terrorist threat.

Norway’s Military Intelligence Service issued warnings regarding a possibility of terrorist acts against Norwegian government officials.

The Foreign Ministry did not specify any information on the nature of the terrorist threat but said the authorities proceeded from the same information that had forced the U.S. to take an appropriate step.

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