Israel concerned over recall of Venezuela diplomat

August 4, 2006 12:13

Israel said Friday it was concerned over the recall of Venezuela's top diplomat in Israel, but had not yet decided how to respond. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced Thursday he is recalling his envoy to Israel to express his indignation at what he called the "genocide" Israel was committing in Lebanon. The recall is one of the strongest diplomatic moves short of severing diplomatic relations. "We view this with concern and are having internal discussions as how best to respond," said Mark Regev, the Foreign Ministry spokesman. Regev said he did not yet know whether the diplomat, who has the rank of charge d'affaires rather than ambassador, has left Israel. Chavez, an outspoken left-wing leader, has won Israel's contempt for his display of affection for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for Israel's annihilation.

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