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“Reopening this office paves the way for reopening of a U.S. Embassy,” said Janice Jacobs, the U.S. ambassador to neighboring Senegal, who is also accredited to Guinea-Bissau.

The United States closed its embassy nearly 10 years ago during a short, but devastating, civil war. The new office is a diplomatic liaison mission to prepare for an upgrade in relations.

On June 13, the embassy in Senegal sent a letter to Guinea-Bissau President Joao Bernardo Vieira, criticizing him for firing Police Chief Orlando Antonio da Silva, according to the Reuters news agency.

“The United States is profoundly concerned” about his dismissal, the letter said.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@ washingtontimes.com.