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US warns Americans in Brazil of tension in Middle East

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US warns Americans in Brazil of tension in Middle East

William Popp, Chargé d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Brasilia, with Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo – 23/02/2019 US Embassy in Brasilia / Press Release

The US embassy in Brasilia published a note on its website on Tuesday 7 about security measures to be taken by US citizens residing or visiting in Brazil because of rising tensions in the Middle East. Advice includes being “alert to your surroundings” and “reviewing your personal safety plans”.

The note was issued shortly before Iran's attacks on US bases in Iraq on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning, 8) in retaliation for the death of General Qasen Soleimani. He was the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard elite forces, regarded as a national hero, and was killed by US bombing in Baghdad, Iraq, on the 2nd.

The text does not state why the US Embassy considers Brazil an insecure country, subject to importing into its territory the potential conflict in the Middle East. Under the rule of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian foreign policy aligned with that of Washington. On recent episodes in Iraq, Itamaraty condemned the invasion of the US embassy in Baghdad, but also avoided condemning the US attack that killed Soleimani.

"There is growing tension in the Middle East that could result in security risks for US citizens abroad," the report said. "The embassy will continue to analyze the security situation and provide additional information as needed."

In the note, the embassy also advises Americans to remain discreet, stay alert in tourist-frequented locations, and have travel documents updated and easily accessible. The text includes the addresses and contacts of the US embassy itself and the other five diplomatic representations.

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