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NEWS BRIEFS

Sme: Arrival of new US Ambassador likely delayed

Though originally due in Bratislava on August 26, new US Ambassador to Slovakia Carl Spielvogel will likely be held up in America as politicians in Washington wrangle over a group of recent diplomatic appointments, the Slovak daily Sme reported.

Republican Senator from Iowa Charles Grassley said August 4 that he would exercise his right to put a "hold" on the appointment three designated ambassadors - including Spielvogel - to protest the recent treatment of a UN employee who was accused of giving away secret information when she complained to Congress about UN waste and mismanagment.

The appointments of future American ambassadors to Switzerland and the Philippines will also be held up by the veto. Little progress is likely to be made with the matter until senators return from holiday in September, Sme reported.

Every designated US Ambassador must be approved by the Senate after being proposed by the US President. Every senator has the right to postpone the nomination.

Grassley said he did not have any personal objections to Spielvogel or the other candidates. Instead, his actions reflect concern with actions taken against a former senior US representative to the UN, Linda Shenwick, whom has been accused of information leaks by the US Foreign Ofiice, Sme reported. Greely told The Washington Post that citizens must feel they have the right to point out UN abuses to the US government.

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