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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Congressional visit cancelled, U.S. Mission reduces activiti

[b]Congressional visit cancelled, U.S. Mission reduces activities as Nepal enters uncertainty[/b]

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

[b]Washington, D.C. 14 April, ([/b] The U.S. Department of State has granted ‘authorized departure status’ for the American embassy in Katmandu, Nepal while the high level Congressional delegation led by Speaker Dennis Hastert called off its visit when the embassy is in the process of drastically reducing its staff.

'Authorized departure status' means that the American ambassador, as head of mission in Katmandu, has the total prerogative in closing down the embassy at short notice and evacuating the foreign service staff from Nepal which has plunged into chaos since early April.

The delegation, led by Speaker Hastert, had hoped to visit Katmandu this week to review developments there and meet with representatives of the government, political parties, and civil society. The delegation is currently in India, is also scheduled to visit Vietnam. The scaling back activities, the Mission – including the Embassy, USAID, and the Consular Section and American Center – has gone to minimal staffing this week.

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