Russia downgrades relations with Qatar: ministry

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Russia is downgrading its relations with the Gulf state of Qatar following an airport attack on its ambassador, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

The ministry said Moscow's ambassador to Doha "was attacked by security and customs personnel" who were trying to strip him of his diplomatic bag.

"As a result of their aggressive behaviour, the Qatar side's actions damaged the ambassador's health," the statement said.

Russia demanded an official apology from the Arab state for the November 29 incident, noting that senior Doha officials had been "informed about the decision to downgrade relations with Qatar."

The statement added that the ambassador, who was identified only as V. E. Titorenko, would be recalled to Russia "once he completes treatment".

© 2011 AFP

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