Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Key US ambassador posts remain empty in Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, South Korea

President Biden has failed to nominate anyone for several strategic ambassadorships a full year into his term in office, with some glaring embassy vacancies leaving key U.S. allies without a strong American voice and increasingly vulnerable to Chinese and Russian influence. Resolving a long standoff with congressional Republicans, the administration has managed to place ambassadors in Beijing and Moscow. The Senate has confirmed another 54 ambassadors, 10 more than President Trump had by the end of his first year. Still, the White House hasn’t nominated anyone for such sensitive posts as South Korea or Saudi Arabia. Ukraine, at the center of a raging controversy with Russia that has sparked talk of war, does not know who will be Mr. Biden’s choice as envoy to Kyiv. (https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/jan/20/some-key-embassies-america-not-back-under-biden/) Seasoned career Foreign Service diplomats are holding down the fort in those countries as well as in the Philippines, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Hungary, Kazakhstan and others with ambassador vacancies. But by failing to fill the top jobs in key embassies, critics say, Mr. Biden has stumbled on one of the signature promises of his administration.

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