U.S. suspends embassy operations in rebel-hit C.African Republic

WASHINGTON Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:33pm EST

WASHINGTON Dec 27 (Reuters) - The United States said on Thursday it was suspending operations at its embassy in the Central African Republic as rebels appeared poised to move on the capital of the impoverished but resource-rich nation.

U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the U.S. embassy had temporarily suspended operations and that the U.S. ambassador and other embassy personnel had left the country.

"This decision is solely due to concerns about the security of our personnel and has no relation to our continuing and long-standing diplomatic relations with the CAR," Ventrell said in a statement.