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MPs oppose appointment of new US Ambassador

PARLIAMENT yesterday issued a vote of no confidence in the appointment of new US Ambassador Thomas C Krajeski, who they claimed had a volatile agenda towards Bahrain.

MPs condemned his "suspicious" meetings in the US with individuals and groups who want to harm stability and peace in the country.

They also criticised Mr Krajeski's policies in Iraq, where he used to work, saying it would be disastrous if he planned to use the same agenda in Bahrain.

MPs wanted to vote to stop Bahrain's leadership from accepting the diplomatic accreditation of the diplomat, but were stopped by parliament chairman Khalifa Al Dhahrani, Minister of State for Shura Council and Parliament Affairs Abdulaziz Al Fadhel and parliament's legal consultant Dr Saleh Al Gateet.

They said such decisions were out of their jurisdiction and only His Majesty King Hamad could authorise or reject the presence of a new ambassador.

However, MPs later issued a statement condemning Mr Krajeski's appointment and their displeasure with the US government's choice.

"This diplomat has a volatile agenda against Bahrain and the nation and we can't accept having him here," said Al Menbar bloc president MP Dr Ali Ahmed.

"We are here to represent the people and they don't want him and our wish should be respected."

Parliament public utilities and environment affairs committee chairman and Independent Bloc co-ordinator MP Hassan Al Dossary said that the selection appeared disastrous if Mr Krajeski's history in Iraq was taken into consideration.

"This diplomat doesn't have a good profile in Iraq and we don't want what he did there allowing division between members of the community to happen here," he said.

"If he comes to Bahrain, we want him to be summoned for a meeting with you Mr Al Dhahrani, in which he gets a clear explanation on what is right and what is not."

The US appointed Mr Krajeski, a senior vice-president of the Washington-based National Defence University, as its new envoy to Bahrain in June.

He will replace Joseph Adam Ereli who left Bahrain in January for Washington.

Mr Krajeski, a career member of the Foreign Service since 1979, served at the US embassy in Baghdad from 2008 to 2009 as the senior adviser to the ambassador on northern Iraq affairs where he worked closely with representatives of the Kurdistan regional government, the government of Iraq, and the United Nations in negotiations about the permanent boundary of Iraqi Kurdistan.

He was the director of Career Development and Assignments for the Department of State from 2007 to 2008 and US Ambassador to Yemen between 2004 and 2007.

Previous assignments include political adviser to Paul Bremer at the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq, principal officer and consul general at the US consulate in Dubai, political officer at the US embassy in Cairo, deputy chief of the consular section in Warsaw, Poland, consular officer in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and general services officer in Kathmandu, Nepal.



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