VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria is working with US authorities to get to the bottom of a series of suspected cases of a condition known as “Havana syndrome” among US diplomats in Vienna, the Austrian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month that his country is conducting a government-wide review of who or what caused what it suspects were “targeted” radio frequency attacks on US diplomats that resulted in multiple neurological ailments that arose for the first time in the Cuban capital. in 2016.
The New Yorker magazine said on Friday that since US President Joe Biden took office in January, approximately two dozen US intelligence officers, diplomats and other officials in Vienna have reported symptoms similar to those of Havana syndrome, resulting in which makes it the second largest access point after Havana. .
“We take these reports very seriously and in keeping with our role as host state, we are working with the US authorities to get to the bottom of this,” the Austrian Foreign Ministry said in a short statement.
“The safety of the diplomats sent to Vienna and their families is of the utmost importance to us.”
The US embassy in Vienna declined to comment and referred questions to the State Department.
Once a center of Cold War intrigue, Vienna is home to several agencies of the UN and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, meaning that larger countries like the United States and Russia often have three ambassadors and a large diplomatic presence there.
That has long made Vienna a hub for diplomatic activity and espionage, as many spies operate under diplomatic cover.
The Austrian Foreign Ministry website lists 158 American diplomats currently in Vienna.
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