The United States has found no evidence that its diplomats in Havana, Cuba, were the victims of "sonic attacks" with an unknown weapon, according to Republican Senator Jeff Flake.
Flake, a Senate Foreign Relations Committee member and leading advocate of detente with Cuba, met Friday with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and officials from the Interior Ministry.
The Cubans said they have been told by the FBI that, after four trips to the Caribbean island, agents have found zero evidence that mysterious illnesses suffered by US diplomats were the result of any such attacks.
Flake told the Associated Press on Saturday that classified briefings from US officials have left no reason to doubt the Cuban account, but he declined to discuss their exact contents.
"The Cuban Interior Ministry is saying the FBI has told them there is no evidence of a sonic attack, even though that term is being used – 'attack' – there is no evidence of it," Flake said.
"There's no evidence that somebody purposefully tried to harm somebody. Nobody is saying that these people didn't experience some event, but there's no evidence that that was a deliberate attack by somebody, either the Cubans or anybody else.
"As I said, I won't talk about what I have seen in a classified setting, but nothing is inconsistent with what the Cubans have said, and I think the FBI would say that."
According to Washington, 24 US government officials and their families fell ill in Havana in their homes and at several hotels towards the end of 2016.
Those affected reported hearing loud sounds followed by hearing loss and ear-ringing, leading some US officials to describe the incidents as "sonic attacks" – a term they are now carefully avoiding.
The United States has since withdrawn most of its diplomats from Havana, citing a health risk, and forced many Cuban diplomats to leave Washington.
Cuba decried the expulsions as an unjust blow to US-Cuban relations that had previously been restored under former president Barack Obama.