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Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Mexico's Fox apologises to Castro

The Mexican president, Vicente Fox, has apologised over a diplomatic spat with the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, which has further strained relations between the two countries.

The affair centres on allegations by Mr Castro that Mr Fox forced him to leave a United Nations summit in Mexico last month so that he would not cross paths with President Bush, who also attended.

On Monday, Mr Castro released a recording of a private conversation with Mr Fox, which he said backed his claims.

But Mr Fox said he had nothing to be ashamed of and that he had always acted with Mexico's best interests at heart.

On Wednesday, the Mexican foreign minister, Jorge Castaneda, acknowledged that American officials had asked Mexico to avoid a meeting between Mr Castro and Mr Bush.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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