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Via BBC News

US Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual has resigned amid a row over leaked diplomatic cables in which he doubted Mexico’s ability to tackle drug gangs.

The dispute flared last month when Mexican President Felipe Calderon accused Mr Pascual of “ignorance”.

He said the US cables, released by Wikileaks in December, had harmed ties.

The US is backing Mexico’s war against drug-trafficking with more than $1bn in equipment and training.

The two countries have also increasingly been sharing intelligence in a bid to tackle the drug gangs as violence continues to take a heavy toll in Mexico, with more than 34,000 killed since late 2006.

It emerged earlier this month that the US has been sending unarmed surveillance drones over Mexico to gather information on the major drug traffickers.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Mr Pascual had decided to step down due to “his personal desire to ensure the strong relationship between our two countries and to avert issues raised by President Calderon that could distract from the important business of advancing our bilateral interests”.

She said she and President Barack Obama had accepted his resignation with “great reluctance”.

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