April 6, 2018 / 12:05 AM / a year ago

Panama says will remove ambassador from Venezuela

PANAMA CITY, April 5 (Reuters) - The government of Panama said on Thursday that it would remove its ambassador from Venezuela and asked the crisis-stricken OPEC country to withdraw its ambassador from Panama as well, reflecting the escalating tensions between the countries.

In a statement issued on Thursday evening, Panama said the move was a response to Venezuela’s decision to halt commercial relations with a host of Panamanian officials and companies, including airline Copa and President Juan Carlos Varela, for alleged involvement in money laundering.

Last month, Panama included Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on a list of Venezuelan nationals who are considered “high risk” for money laundering.

Reporting by Elida Moreno; writing by Julia Love

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