Secretary Kerry Swears-In U.S. Ambassador to Malta Kathleen Hill

Posted: 12:45 am EDT
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Via state.gov/Flickr:

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Secretary Kerry Swears-In U.S. Ambassador to Malta Kathleen Hill U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry swears-in U.S. Ambassador to Malta Kathleen Hill, at the U.S. Department of State, in Washington, D.C. on January 13, 2015. [State Department Photo/Public Domain]

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US Embassy Libya: Ambassador Deborah Jones Moves On, Ambassador Peter Bodde Waits

Posted: 1:33 am EDT
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In July, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Peter William Bodde to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Tripoli.

Ambassador Peter William Bodde, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, a position he has held since 2012.  Ambassador Bodde served as Assistant Chief of Mission for Assistance Transition at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq from 2010 to 2012 and as U.S. Ambassador to Malawi from 2008 to 2010.  He served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan from 2006 to 2008.  From 2002 to 2006, Ambassador Bodde was Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany.  Prior to this, he served as Director of the State Department’s Office of Management Policy from 2000 to 2002 and as Administrative Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India from 1997 to 2000.  Ambassador Bodde served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal from 1994 to 1997.  His earlier assignments include postings in Denmark, Bulgaria, and Guyana.  Ambassador Bodde received a B.A. from the University of Maryland.

Bodde, Peter W. – Libya – August 2015

Ambassador Bodde’s nomination was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 8, 2015. It looks like the senate panel has yet to hold a confirmation hearing on his nomination.

The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli was evacuated in 2011 during civil unrest to remove then-President Muammar al-Qadhafi. In September 11, 2012, Islamic militants attacked the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi killing four Americans.  In early 2013, U.S. personnel returned to Libya.  The  embassy was moved closer to the Tripoli International Airport. In July 2014, two major militias fought for control of Tripoli International Airport. As the fighting drew closer to Embassy Tripoli, the security environment for conducting embassy operations deteriorated. On July 26, 2014, more than 100 U.S. personnel were evacuated by land to Tunisia (see State Dept Suspends All Embassy Operations in Libya, Relocates Staff Under Armed Escorts).

According to a May 2015 State/OIG report, the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (State/NEA) and Embassy Tripoli were working on an arrangement to allow the Embassy Tripoli External Office located at the U.S. Embassy in Malta to transfer operations to Embassy Tunis. This would include the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and as many as 9 American staff members and 13 locally employed staff members.

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U.S. Embassy Malta: Ambassador Abercrombie-Winstanley Does Not Want Your Money (Fraud Alert)

Posted: 12:19 am EDT
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On April 9, we blogged about the U.S. Embassy in Beirut issuing a fraud alert on scammers impersonating Ambassador David Hale and the American Embassy in Lebanon (see  U.S. Embassy Beirut: Ambassador Hale Does Not Want Your Money (Fraud Alert). On April 22, the U.S. Embassy in Valletta, Malta issued a similar alert to the Maltese public on scammers impersonating Ambassador Abercrombie-Winstanley.

 

Internet scam artists have tried to impersonate U.S. Ambassador Abercrombie-Winstanley and the U.S. Embassy in an attempt to get Maltese people to send them money. Don’t believe them!

In several of these attempts, these criminals have contacted people via social media with an invitation to connect to “Gina Abercrombie.”  When they have, they received a message saying that, for a certain sum of money, they could be named a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations or United Nations Ambassador of Peace. In similar scams, victims were then requested to send money to an office in London. Ambassador Abercrombie-Winstanley does not make UN appointments and would not solicit funds from people. In other attempts, the perpetrators have sent unsolicited emails for fees to process immigrant visa documents and work permits.

Correspondence purporting to be from Ambassador Abercrombie-Winstanley requesting any payment of funds or personal information is false. We caution against providing any personal or financial information to unsolicited emails or social media contact.

If you would like more information about how the UN does appoint its Goodwill Ambassadors, please see the UN website: http://ask.un.org/faq/14597

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US Embassy Malta Gets a Viral Video But — Not the Kind You Want

— By Domani Spero

It happened last Saturday, August 24 in the island of Malta.  Somebody was in a flat in Sliema when there was a “USA vs Malta street argument.”  YouTube user jakovids filmed the incident and uploaded it to Youtube with the following note: “…some maltese driver refuses to reverse to make space for this American… next thing you know he’s out the car wanting to fight!”  The video posted on August 24 has now gone “viral” with 107,257 views.

WARNING: video contains explicit language

On August 26, the US Embassy in Malta made the following statement on its FB page:

The U.S. Embassy deplores the conduct shown in the video. We regret such inexcusable behavior, whether on the part of an American citizen, or those of any other nationality. We strongly believe that everyone should be treated with respect and courtesy on the roads and in the streets of our towns and villages. We’re all in this together.

On August 27, the  Times of Malta reported that the US embassy has refused to confirm or deny whether an American man seen verbally assaulting a Maltese driver in an online video is a member of its staff.

On August 28, the US Embassy has reportedly admitted that the American in the video is an embassy employee.  “The US Embassy can confirm that the subject of this video was an embassy employee who has since departed,” the embassy said in a statement cited by The Times of Malta.

According to news reports, the U.S. Embassy also said Wednesday that the unidentified employee “did not comport with the standards of behavior that we expect from all embassy personnel.”

The statement is not available on the embassy’s website or the mission’s social media sites as of this writing.

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