IN SHORT

Greece withdraws ambassador to Slovakia

THE GREEK Foreign Affairs Ministry has temporarily withdrawn its ambassador to Slovakia, Efstathios Daras, after he was arrested in the Greek port of Egumenitsa.

The police found a handgun in the ambassador's car. However, because of diplomatic immunity, he was subsequently released, the daily SME reported.

Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Ministry refused to comment on the matter, the TASR news agency reported.

"It's an internal Greek affair, which is both an EU and NATO member," Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Juraj Tomaga told journalists.

The Greek ambassador was arrested while on holiday in Egumenitsa. A gun, silencer and related weaponry were found in his car. Daras has no gun licence.

The Slovak daily Národná Obroda reported in September 2004 that Ambassador Daras had smuggled weapons such as a Glock 19, CZ-83, CZ-92, Taurus revolver, a ZKK 601 rifle and a ZKM gun from Slovakia to Greece.

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