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Uganda retracts diplomat allegation

By Wang Qingyun | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-15 07:33

China commended the clarification Uganda made on Wednesday, in which the African country's Foreign Ministry said that Chinese diplomats were not involved in ivory smuggling and that the Ugandan government is committed to strengthening ties with China.

According to previous media reports, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni ordered an investigation into the country's Wildlife Authority and two "Chinese diplomats" for alleged collusion in ivory smuggling.

However, the Ugandan Foreign Ministry, said in a statement issued on Monday that it has confirmed, "following a thorough review of its records", that the two Chinese named "are not accredited diplomats" of the Chinese embassy in Uganda.

The ministry apologized for the incident and said the Ugandan government "reiterates its commitment to strengthening further the relations and bonds of friendship that exist between our two countries".

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang praised the statement on Wednesday.

The Chinese government has imposed strict rules of discipline and guidelines on public servants, including staff members of diplomatic and consular missions stationed abroad as well as delegations dispatched overseas for official visits, Lu emphasized.

The government strictly forbids these people to purchase, participate in the trade of or carry with them any endangered species of wild fauna and flora or products derived from them, Lu said.

The government will hold these people accountable "resolutely and according to law" if it uncovers such violations, the spokesman said.

wangqingyun@chinadaily.com.cn

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