WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three U.S. government officials on temporary duty in Nicaragua were expelled this week, an action the U.S. State Department said on Thursday was "unwarranted and inconsistent with the positive and constructive agenda" it seeks with Managua.


State Department spokesman John Kirby told a news briefing the three officials had only recently arrived in Nicaragua when they were expelled on Tuesday. He did not elaborate on what they were doing in the Central American country.


"Such treatment has the potential to negatively impact U.S. and Nicaraguan bilateral relations, particularly trade," Kirby told reporters when asked about the incident. "We've conveyed our strong displeasure," Kirby said, referring specifically to Francisco Campbell, Nicaragua's ambassador to the United States.


The Nicaraguan Embassy could not immediately be reached for comment.


Kirby did not say whether the ambassador had been summoned to the State Department or the U.S. sentiments had been conveyed in some other manner.


"We've made clear our concerns about this expulsion," he told reporters.

"We believe it was unwarranted and inconsistent with the positive and constructive agenda that we seek with the government of Nicaragua," Kirby added.

(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Tom Brown)