(AFP) – Apr 5, 2011
WASHINGTON — The US State Department on Tuesday denounced as "unjustified" Ecuador's expulsion of the American ambassador to the country, saying it "deeply" regrets Quito's decision.
Ambassador Heather Hodges is "one of our most experienced and talented diplomats," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.
"The Department considers her expulsion unjustified," he added, saying US officials were going to examine the options.
Ecuador has declared the US ambassador "persona non grata" and is demanding she leave the country in a row over a leaked diplomatic cable, Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said earlier.
Patino had summoned Hodges to his office on Monday for an explanation of the cable, leaked by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, in which she says Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa appointed a chief of police he knew to be corrupt.
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