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Last Updated: Monday, 13 August 2007, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
US moves to shut Eritrean mission
Map of Eritrea
The United States has ordered the closure of Eritrea's consulate in California, in a sign of worsening diplomatic relations.

US embassy officials in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, say the decision is due to a string of restrictions imposed on its embassy.

In response, Eritrea has accused the US of an unjust and unfriendly policy.

Relations between the two countries soured after US-backed Ethiopia entered Somalia to fight Islamist forces.

The BBC's Peter Martell in Asmara says the closure will affect the Eritrean government's attempt to collect a 2% income tax on Eritrean expatriates in California - an important source of income.

This row is the latest in a series of tit-for-tat measures the countries have imposed on each other.

These include Eritrean demands to inspect confidential diplomatic bags against international conventions, as well as imposing visa restrictions - claims rejected by Eritrea.

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