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Cuba blames US for worsening bilateral ties

October 04, 6:07 UTC+3 HAVANA

The US demanded on Tuesday that Cuba reduced its Washington embassy staff by 15 persons

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HAVANA, October 4. /TASS/. Washington bears responsibility for worsening US-Cuban relations, the country’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told reporters in Havana on Tuesday.

"The US government bears the responsibility for worsening bilateral ties with Cuba in the present and, possibly, in the future," the foreign minister said.

The US demanded on Tuesday that Cuba reduced its Washington embassy staff by 15 persons. The diplomats are to leave the United States within the next seven days. The move came in response to alleged "acoustic attacks," which, according to the US Department of State, resulted in health problems for 22 US diplomats. The move will reduce the overall number of Cuban diplomats in Washington to eight people.

 

Unjustified and unacceptable decision

 

Rodriguez expressed a resolute protest against the move, describing it as "unjustified and unacceptable."

He also said those "irresponsible and politically motivated" measures "will have a negative impact on bilateral relations in various spheres."

He called on the US government to stop politicizing the issue in order to "avoid undesirable escalation of the situation."

 

No evidence of attacks

 

According to Rodriguez, no evidence of any "acoustic attacks" on US diplomats has ever been presented.

"There is no evidence to suggest that the alleged incidents have indeed taken place. The reasons and causes of illnesses, reported by US diplomats and their family members, are unknown. Suspected perpetrators have also not been established," he said.

The Cuban diplomat said his country has no equipment that could be used in such attacks, adding that the United States failed to present enough information to Cuba to investigate the matter, including health records of allegedly affected diplomats.

 

Cuba innocent

 

The Cuban top diplomat strongly rejected Havana’s role in the health problems of US officials, adding that his country has always "fulfilled its obligations under the 1961 Vienna convention on diplomatic relations regarding the safety of diplomats accredited in the country."

Rodriguez assured that Cuba has never carried out and will never carry out any attacks on diplomats and their families.

"The Cuban government has never allowed and will never allow third parties to use its territory for such measures," he said, adding that his country is ready to continue active cooperation with the United States in investigating its concerns.

 

Diplomatic scandal

 

Last Friday, the US administration announced that it was withdrawing 60% of employees of its embassy in Havana and suspending the issuance of US visas in Cuba indefinitely. In addition, the US Department of State warned US citizens not to travel to Cuba for fears that they may suffer from similar attacks.

At the same time, Washington stopped short of severing diplomatic ties with the island, restored in summer 2015.

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