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Canada condemns Sudan expulsion of diplomat

Canada has no intention of apologising for one of its diplomats after the Sudanese government expelled Ottawa’s charge d’affaires, Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier said on Sunday.

”Canada condemns the government of Sudan’s decision to expel the charge d’affaires as this expulsion is entirely unjustified, and there is no question of Canada issuing an apology,” Bernier said in a statement.

The Canadian diplomat, Nuala Lawlor, was instructed to leave Khartoum after Bernier tried without success to persuade his Sudanese counterpart to rescind the expulsion, Bernier said.

”I conveyed Canada’s strong concern about Sudan’s decision to expel Canada’s charge d’affaires,” he said.

”As the government of Sudan has not revoked its expulsion order, Canada’s charge, who was acting in the finest traditions of Canadian diplomacy and was standing up for our values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Sudan, was instructed to leave Khartoum on Sunday August 26,” the statement said.

Sudan announced on Thursday the expulsion of the European Commission’s representative and the Canadian diplomat for ”interfering” in the country’s affairs due to unacceptable contacts with opposition leaders.

But on Saturday Sudanese officials invited the European envoy, Kent Degerfelt of Sweden, back.

Khartoum alleged Louis Michel, the European development commissioner, had apologised to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir over the actions of the European envoy. — Sapa-AFP

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