Category: Archive

Still no sign of U.S. North envoy

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Allegations were made by the campaign of John McCain at the time that the Democratic candidate was waffling on the appointment of an envoy and that if he (McCain) were elected president, such an appointment would be assured.
Exactly six months into his administration, there has been no movement towards such an appointment by President Obama.
The first to make am envoy commitment on behalf of Obama was former senator and the original special envoy, George Mitchell. He told an Irish radio station in September, 2008: “I don’t think there is much doubt that he (Obama) will in fact continue the recent practice of appointing a special representative to the position that I myself held. I don’t think it’s an issue. I think he will do that.”
Mitchell was then joined by Senators Edward Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, Chris Dodd and Congressmen Richard Neal Joe Crowley and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to act as Obama advisors on Irish issues. Mr. Obama called the group his Irish “dream team.”
“After consultations with the members of his senior panel of advisers on Irish issues and informal soundings with British and Irish officials, Senator Obama has said that if he becomes President, he will appoint a senior envoy to Ireland who will build on the groundbreaking achievements of the Clinton Administration and help bring the historic process to final fruition,” Wendy Morigi, the campaign’s national security spokesperson told the Irish Echo last September.
Rep. Crowley (D-NY) was on the line when the Obama Irish advisors spoke with reporters last September.
“He’s said he’s appointing a senior envoy, and that squarely answers the matter,” Crowley stated emphatically.
Not only was an envoy seemingly on the cars, there was even reports that two might be appointed, one to watch over the political peace process, the other to deal with economic issues related to the North which clearly have a bearing on potential political progress
However, as of this week, the U.S. State Department was declining to comment on any appointment.
“We do not have any update on this at this time,” replied a State Department official to a query on the appointment status.

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