Envoy position “retired” as Trump cuts team

Posted By: September 01, 2017

Irish News. Belfast. Friday, September 1, 2017

THE US government has no plans to appoint a special envoy to the north as the Trump administration cuts back on its overseas diplomatic operations.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has proposed abolishing more than half of envoys and according to reports, the Northern Ireland special envoy is among them.

The last envoy to Northern Ireland was former Democrat Senator Gary Hart whose appointment lapsed with the end of the Obama administration.

A spokesman for the US State Department in Washington told the Belfast Telegraph: “Regarding the personal representative for Northern Ireland issues – that position will be retired.”

“The 1998 Good Friday Agreement has been implemented with a devolved national assembly in Belfast now in place.”

“Legacy and future responsibilities will be assigned to the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.”

The US has sent a special envoy to the north since the mid-1990s.

Those appointed the role have included Senator George Mitchell and Richard Haass.