RP CONTINUES TO RECOGNIZE IRAQ ENVOYS -- OPLEManila, April 14, 2003 -- The government has not yet severed ties with Iraqi diplomats identified with Saddam Hussein's regime, Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople said Monday. "We have not ceased to recognize the diplomatic character of the Iraqi Embassy or its officials," Ople said. "They continue to enjoy the privileges and immunities accorded them under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations until we receive contrary information from their new government." Ople said he has not issued any instructions to foreign affairs officials to cease all contacts with Iraqi envoys. "The lines of communication to and from the Iraqi Embassy have never been closed. We have not severed ties with Iraq," he said.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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