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Several senior US State Department diplomats leave posts in a possibly coordinated walkout

January 26, 2017 19:23

Senior US diplomats at the State Department have left their posts in what may very well be a coordinated walkout.


A PODIUM with the logo of the US State Department. What messages are being sent to citizens abroad.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

WASHINGTON, Jan 26 - The entire senior management team of the US State Department resigned on Thursday.

Responding to the reports, the US State Department said on Thursday that the outgoing Obama administration, in coordination with the incoming one, had requested that "all politically appointed officers submit letters of resignation" as is standard practice.

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A spokesperson for the State Department, Mark Toner, noted that "Of the officers whose resignations were accepted, some will continue in the Foreign Service in other positions and others will retire by choice or because they have exceeded the time limits of their grade in service," a statement by acting State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, said.

Earlier reports suggested that the departure of the management team was not part of the normal transition process but was rather a coordinated walkout.

A week ago, Republican President Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, former Exxon Mobil Corp chairman Rex Tillerson, was confirmed by the Senate foreign relations committee. He has yet to be confirmed by the full Senate. The departures will put more pressure on Tillerson to fill these senior posts.

Some reports suggest that only three have resigned and name them as Gregory Starr, Assistant Secretary for State for Diplomatic Security, Michele Bond, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs and Tom Countryman, the acting undersecretary for arms control and international security.

Michael Wilner and Reuters contributed to this report.

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