European Union Photograph:( AFP )
The decision came as a tit-for-tat move after Venezuela expelled the EU envoy
The Europan Union on Thursday declared Venezuela's envoy to the bloc "persona non grata". The decision came as a tit-for-tat move after Venezuela expelled the EU envoy.
A statement said member states had agreed on the move, proposed by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell after Venezuela ordered the European ambassador to leave.
"This is a response to the decision by the Venezuelan government to declare the head of the EU delegation to Venezuela as persona non grata," it said.
"The EU considers this declaration as wholly unwarranted and contrary to the EU's objective of developing relations and building partnerships in third countries."
Claudia Salerno, Venezuela's representative to the EU, responded by saying on Twitter that "the independence and sovereignty of our homeland are not negotiable."
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza on Wednesday announced the country's move against EU envoy Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, and gave her 72 hours to leave the country.
This had come two days after EU ministers agreed to sanction 19 Venezuelan officials for what they said was "undermining democracy"
The EU expanded its sanctions list after rejecting a December legislative election that saw Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro win control of parliament after an opposition boycott.
Until the disputed vote, the National Assembly was run by an opposition majority with Juan Guaido at the helm as speaker -- the only branch of government not under Maduro's control.
(With AFP inputs)