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Status of U.S. Embassy Operations in Nigeria


Posted: June 18, 2005


The United States Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria remains open with minimal staffing while the consulate office in Lagos remains closed as of June 17, according to a State Department spokesman responding to a question taken at the department briefing that same day.

News services reported on June 16 quotes from spokespersons with the embassy and the U.S. European Command saying that credible terrorist threats had been received, and that the embassy as well as the consulate in Lagos had been closed.

Following is the text of the State Department's response to the briefing question:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman
Daily Press Briefing - Taken Question
Washington, DC
June 17, 2005

MR. ERELI: On the basis of credible and specific threat information, the U.S. consulate in Lagos, Nigeria closed yesterday -- Thursday, June 16th -- to the public and it will be closed all day today. Our Embassy in Abuja is open. We are getting good cooperation from the Government of Nigeria and local police. We will be evaluating the security situation and deciding next steps on the basis of what we see, but I'm afraid I can't get into any detail with you about what the nature of the threat was, where it came from, what it was directed towards. I would simply say that it was specific and credible enough that we believed it was necessary and prudent to close the Consulate.

Question: Was our embassy at Abuja ever closed in response to the threats that caused the closing of our consulate at Lagos? What is the status of the embassy?

MR. ERELI: The Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria has remained open with minimal staffing.

The Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria closed yesterday afternoon and today, Friday, June 17, 2005.

(end text)


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