Norway shuts 15 diplomatic missions

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OSLO: A total of 15 Norwegian diplomatic missions will be closed to the end of the week in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa, an official spokesman for the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said on Monday night (Tuesday in Manila).

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Ministry officials say the temporary closures would cover 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 e-mails 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 US 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 US to take an appropriate step.

AFP

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