WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has reversed its course and will restore the higher protocol status of the European Union's mission in Washington, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland announced in a statement released by the US Mission to the EU on 4 March.
"The Ambassador of the United States to the European Union Gordon Sondland is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, the Department of State will again recognize the European Union’s representation in Washington as equivalent to that of a bilateral mission in the Diplomatic Corps Order of Precedence", the statement said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has instructed the chief of protocol to take the necessary steps to reflect this reinstatement, the statement said.
Ambassador Sondland emphasized that the European Union is one of America's most valuable partners in ensuring global security and prosperity.
On 8 January, it was revealed that the bloc's diplomatic status was lowered by the United States at some point in 2018. The news broke after EU Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan lost his position as ambassador on the Diplomatic List of Precedence — which was granted to him due to the fact that the EU diplomatic mission in the United States was viewed as an equivalent to a national embassy — and was moved farther down the list to be mentioned among "heads of delegation".
The Trump administration did not provide a reason for the downgrade of the EU's diplomatic status, according to media reports.
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