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US withdraws some diplomats from Venezuela embassy - AP

The department says it’s taking the step for security reasons and that the embassy in Caracas will stay open
The U.S. Embassy in Venezuela AP Photo/Fernando Llano
The U.S. Embassy in Venezuela
© AP Photo/Fernando Llano

WASHINGTON, January 25. /TASS/. The United States withdraws some of its diplomatic staff from the embassy in Caracas, but the diplomatic mission will remain open, a representative of the Department of State told TASS.

"On January 24, 2019, the Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency direct-hire U.S. government personnel and eligible family members of U.S. government personnel posted to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas," the representative said, adding that the step is "based on the current assessment of the security situation in Venezuela."

"We have no plans to close the Embassy. The United States will maintain diplomatic relations with Venezuela through the government of interim President Guaido, who has invited our mission to remain in Venezuela," the State Department employee added.

Earlier Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro ordered all Venezuelan diplomats to leave the United States and close the embassy. He earlier said he would give US diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave Venezuela.

On January 23, Juan Guaido declared himself acting president during an opposition rally in Caracas. Maduro described these developments as an attempted coup organized by Washington and said he was breaking diplomatic ties with the US.

US President Donald Trump and Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) Luis Almagro recognized Guaido as acting head of state. Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, Chile and Ecuador made similar statements later.

Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua and Turkey supported Maduro. Belarus and China called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict without outside interference. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made a statement in support of the dialogue between the conflicting sides.