France recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia in a diplomatic slap intended to convey its anger over a deal forged in secrecy that saw Paris lose a multibillion-dollar submarine contract.

Was there another time where a Western country recalled its diplomats from the U.S.? To me, this seems like an unprecedented move, and I haven't heard of any such move in recent times, so I am wondering if it's something that happens a lot more often than people think. On Google, I see non-Western countries like Russia, Turkey doing it, but I have never heard of a Western country do it against the U.S. before.


2 Answers 2


In 1938, Germany recalled its ambassador to the US in response to escalating tensions and the US doing the same to Germany. In 1941, Germany broke off diplomatic relations completely as part of a declaration of war.

  • 2
    Surely also in WW1?
    – user207421
    Sep 19, 2021 at 6:45
  • 1
    This time ended peacefully with returning the ambassador back after a phone call.
    – caveman
    Sep 23, 2021 at 3:57

Perhaps also, consider the action of Spain. To quote a source:

1898 21 April Spain expelled the United States' ambassador and recalled its diplomats from Washington.

23 April U.S. declared war on Spain...

Albeit, technically an expulsion which, per a source is described as, to quote:

Under Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a receiving state may "at any time and without having to explain its decision" declare any member of a diplomatic staff persona non grata.[1] A person so declared is considered unacceptable and is usually recalled to his or her home nation. If not recalled, the receiving state "may refuse to recognize the person concerned as a member of the mission".[2] A person can be declared a persona non grata before that person even enters the country.[1]


In diplomacy, a persona non grata (Latin: "person not welcome", plural: personae non gratae) is a status sometimes applied by a host country to foreign diplomats to remove their protection by diplomatic immunity from arrest and other normal kinds of prosecution.

So, expulsion is a stronger action discouraging either entry into a country or precipitating a hasty recall from said country, as a consequence of the removal of the protective umbrella of diplomatic immunity (especially with regard to possible arrest and prosecution).

If the intent of the question is when a Western country ever applied a diplomatic boot to America, then Spain in 1898 likely qualifies.

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