PRAGUE, 24 March (ČTK) – The Czech Foreign Ministry has expelled the leading Iraqi diplomat in Prague. “The Czech Republic considers him ‘undesirable’ and has called for him to leave the CR within 48 hours,” said spokesman Vít Kolář. Chargé d’affaires Málik Muhammad Aní is now the fifth Iraqi diplomat who must leave the Czech Republic.

The reason for his expulsion is the fact that he was involved in activities that “are not compatible with his position,” the spokesman said. According to Kolar Czech diplomatic corps decided on expulsion based on – among other things – information from Czech security agencies. The Iraqi embassy remains open, the spokesman added.

The first four Iraqi diplomats, which were declared undesirable last Wednesday, left the country on Friday. ‘Undesirable’ is used in diplomatic terms to mark spies.

Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda recently said that seven diplomats and technical personnel work in [the Iraqi mission in] Prague. Kolar did not say how many people remain at the Iraqi embassy. The count should be two diplomats and support staff.

The Czech Republic is not the only country to decide on expulsions of Iraqi diplomats. Similar steps have been taken by Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Germany and Australia, for example. This decision is somewhat related to calls by the United States to expel diplomats suspected of espionage. According to some reports, the USA provided lists of suspected spies.

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