The U.S. has suspended its dialogue with Ecuador and declared its Ambassador to the US as persona non grata in retaliation of a similar action by government of Ecuador.

“Assistant Secretary (of State, Arturo) Valenzuela called in Ambassador (Luis) Gallegos at 10:30 this morning and informed him of our decision to declare him persona non grata. I believe he’s required to depart the United States as soon as possible,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.

“The unjustified action of the Ecuadorian Government in declaring (US) Ambassador (to Ecuador) Hodges persona non grata left us no other option than this reciprocal action. I believe we said when I announced Ambassador Hodges was declared persona non grata, I said we were considering actions, and this is one of those,” Mr. Toner said.

“We are also suspending the bilateral dialogue which had been scheduled for June,” the State Department spokesman said.

We are interested in a positive relationship with Ecuador, but the regrettable and unwarranted decision to declare Ambassador Hodges persona non grata is going to be taken into account as we move forward in the relationship, he added.

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