SFRC Hearings: Jeffrey, Connelly, Feierstein, Ricciardone

Hearings today at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the executive nominations of the following career diplomats:

Presiding: Senator Kerry
Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Time: 02:30 PM
Location: 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Panel 1

      James Franklin Jeffrey, of Virginia
      to be Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq

Panel 2

      Maura Connelly, of New Jersey
      to be Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon
      Gerald M. Feierstein, of Pennsylvania
      of Pennsylvania, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen
      The Honorable Francis Joseph Ricciardone Jr., of Massachusetts
      to be Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey

Video of the hearings (livestream) and prepared statements are usually posted here as soon as they are available.

Except this time, Josh Rogin of The Cable actually has Ambassador Ricciardone’s prepared statement here  before it is available online at the SFRC. Read Josh’s write up here.

Some of the things Ambassador Ricciardone will say today:

“Through more than three decades I have observed Turkey’s continuing transformation into a more democratic, more open, and more economically vibrant, modern state and a player with growing influence on the world stage.”

“Turkey and Israel are both important partners of the United States.”

“Led by this committee, the Senate has formally recognized the importance of public diplomacy. Increasing contacts and communications between Americans and Turks must be a primary means of advancing our interests on all issues we face today. If confirmed for this post, I pledge that all members of U.S. Mission Turkey will warmly welcome the advice and support of the American people, both through our elected representatives and through direct and continuous contact and communication. In particular, I would pledge the highest standards of service to the American community and American travelers, whether for business or any purpose.”



Diplomatic soap opera unfolds: ambassador deserts wife, cancels her credit card/insurance and takes away 40 beloved cats

Dinner time for the feral cats who live in my ...Image via Wikipedia released this story today.  Apparently, the diplomatic community in Israel  is stunned because an ambassador from an unnamed South American country has abandoned his wife in Israel, leaving her with nothing. Excerpt:

The woman says her husband took all their shared assets, her personal belongings, and the 40 cats she raised at her home before returning to his home country without informing her.

The envoy at the center of the affair is a veteran, respected ambassador who completed his first tenure in Israel and was about to return to his home country and retire. About a month ago, his wife flew to Europe to attend the wedding of her daughter from a previous marriage. A few days later, her husband called her to inform her that he’s returning to their home country and taking all their furniture, she says.
The ambassador reportedly also took the woman’s jewelry and clothes, leaving her penniless. He also cancelled her credit card and medical insurance. However, she was most hurt by the disappearance of her 40 cats and two dogs.
The woman turned to the embassy but officials refused to reveal any information, prompting the woman to hire private eyes.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry approached the South American embassy in question and demanded its immediate intervention in helping the woman, who holds a diplomatic passport. The woman herself wrote an angry letter to her embassy and asked for its help.

Meanwhile, the husband’s attorneys contacted the wife and embarked on negotiations regarding her rights. However, the woman filed a theft complaint with the police on Monday.

Read the whole story here.