- Mauritania's ruling military junta has given the Israeli ambassador and his staff 48 hours to leave the country after a spat with Israel government over its offensive on Gaza late last year, Israel's Foreign Ministry has confirmed.
Mauritania also recalled its own ambassador from Israel last month, ending diplomatic relations with Israel which were established in October 1999.
"Following the Mauritanian government's decision, on 16 January 2009, to freeze diplomatic relations with Israel, and at its request, Israel will close its embassy in Nouakchott as of today," ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in a statement.
Earlier this year, thousands of protestors marched in the capital Nouakchott, protesting Israeli attack in Gaza. The protests were also in other Arab and Muslim world dominated countries.
"This is the logical consequence of freezing of relations between Israel and Mauritania. This is nothing new," Mauritania military spokesman Gen Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz told reporters today.
Jordan, Egypt and Mauritania, located on Africa's northwest coast, are the only Arab countries that have embassy-level diplomatic ties with Israel.
The Israeli action sparked protests through the Arab and Muslim world, including Mauritania, where tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Nouakchott in protest.
Mauritania is ruled by military junta that seized power from the democratically elected President Sidi Ould Sheikh Abdallahi in August. Since then, many local and international organisations had been slapped the with sanction.
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