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Malawi concerned at diplomat crisis

Malawi's government has said it does not expect its decision to expel a British ambassador to lead to a diplomatic crisis with the UK.

Presidential spokesman Heatherwick Ntaba said Ambassador Fergus Cochrane-Dyet was expelled because Malawi had "lost confidence" in him, and expected Britain to simply replace him.

Mr Cochrane-Dyet was asked to leave after he was believed to have expressed concern about human rights in the African country and said President Bingu wa Mutharika was intolerant of criticism.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has responded by expelling Malawi's ambassador and there will now be a review of bilateral relations.

At a farewell news conference on Friday, Mr Cochrane-Dyet said that, after 30 years of one-party rule and 17 of democracy, Malawi could "slide into bad old habits".

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