March 2, 2018 / 5:35 PM / 4 months ago

U.S. makes staff reduction at Havana embassy permanent

HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Friday it would operate its Havana embassy with minimum personnel on a permanent basis from next week, given the cause of an alleged spate of health incidents affecting its diplomats in Cuba remains unknown.

A security guard stands outside the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini/Files

“The embassy will continue to operate with the minimum personnel necessary to perform core diplomatic and consular functions, similar to the level of emergency staffing maintained during ordered departure,” the State Department said in a news release.

“The embassy will operate as an unaccompanied post, defined as a post at which no family members are permitted to reside.”

Reporting by Sarah Marsh in Havana and Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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