ISLAMABAD – The Mexican Embassy in Pakistan closed its doors on Sunday, barely two years after opening, due to “budgetary restrictions,” Mexican Ambassador Arturo Hernandez-Basave said.
“It’s a temporary closing that is due purely to budgetary restrictions within a context of (economic) crisis,” Hernandez-Basave said, adding that it was likely that Mexico would close other embassies or reduce the size of diplomatic facilities in Europe and Asia.
The Mexican government “does not want to have social development programs cut because of the crisis,” opting instead to reduce administrative expenses by shutting three secretariats, Hernandez-Basave said.
“We are not leaving (Pakistan) for security reasons and the proof is that we have been organizing cultural events over the past few months,” the diplomat said.
Hernandez-Basave acknowledged, however, that “the investment (required) to protect personnel and the (embassy) building” in Islamabad has become “very costly” due to the wave of terrorist violence in Pakistan.
The diplomat said he was confident that the Mexican Embassy in Pakistan would reopen in the near future, but the facility’s location would depend on the security situation in the south Asian nation.
Mexico “is determined to continue moving forward in bilateral relations” and to “continue its political dialogue” and economic cooperation with Pakistan, Hernandez-Basave said.
Pakistan’s government has been fighting Taliban insurgents in the northwest region.
A wave of nearly daily terrorist attacks has left some 450 people dead in Pakistan since early October.