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Pakistan puts travel restrictions on U.S. diplomats

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan has placed new travel restrictions on U.S. diplomats living in the country in the latest sign of the breakdown in ties between Islamabad and Washington since the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Pakistan reacted furiously to the May 2 raid on bin Laden's compound deep inside the country because it was carried out with no warning to authorities in Islamabad. Pakistan has sent home at least 90 U.S. soldiers who were training Pakistani troops in counterinsurgency, and severely cut back on intelligence cooperation. The Obama administration has also announced it is cutting more than one-third of its military aid to the country.

In the latest irritant to the U.S.-Pakistani relationship, a letter from the Foreign Ministry sent to the U.S. Embassy last month says all U.S. diplomats must now apply for special permission to leave the capital five days in advance of travel, including visits to cities where America has consulates.

The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations requires host states to allow foreign diplomats "freedom of movement" in the country, except for restricted areas. Other foreigners living in Pakistan are free to travel around most of the country.

The Associated Press reported that a U.S. official confirmed the new restrictions and said the embassy was working with the government to resolve the issue.

CIA station chief leaving: The CIA station chief who ran operations in Pakistan during the raid that killed bin Laden is leaving his post because of illness, the AP reported, citing unnamed U.S. and Pakistani officials. The chief cannot be named because he works undercover.

Pakistan puts travel restrictions on U.S. diplomats 07/30/11 [Last modified: Saturday, July 30, 2011 8:25pm]
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