EU ambassador leaves Nicaragua in week of diplomatic tensions


FILE PHOTO: A view of the facade of the European Union delegation after the Nicaraguan government declared the European Union's ambassador to the country a "persona non grata" and ordered her expulsion from the country, in Managua, Nicaragua September 28, 2022. REUTERS/Maynor Valenzuela/File Photo

(Reuters) - European Union Ambassador Bettina Muscheidt left Nicaragua on Saturday, just three days after being declared "persona non grata" by the government of President Daniel Ortega, in a week of tensions with the international community.

Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada verbally notified Muscheidt that she should leave the country after the EU delegation demanded freedom for "political prisoners" at the United Nations General Assembly last week.

Ortega's government also announced on Friday that it was suspending diplomatic ties with the Netherlands.

"The Netherlands regrets the disproportionate decision by Nicaragua to break off diplomatic relations. We take a firm stand on the worsening democratic structures and human rights violations in Nicaragua," Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said via Twitter on Saturday.

"Other countries have also noticed difficulties in maintaining an open dialogue with Nicaragua. We will discuss our next steps with the EU," he added.

Nicaragua's Vice President Rosario Murillo also announced this week that the Central American country would not accept the new U.S.-appointed ambassador Hugo Rodriguez as its representative in Managua.

In March, Ortega's government expelled the Vatican's ambassador to Managua, Waldemar Sommertag.

(Reporting by Ismael Lopez; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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