Elan Carr official military photograph, August 21, 2014.
(photo credit: UNITED STATES ARMY / PUBLIC DOMAIN)
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration’s newly-appointed special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism will take his first official trip to Slovakia and Belgium this week.
On visits to Slovakia and Belgium, Elan Carr will attend conferences on combating antisemitism in the OSCE region and in the European Union in Bratislava and Brussels, respectively, according to the State Department.
Trump’s team kept the position vacant for over two years, despite a congressional requirement to fill it, and pressure from lawmakers to appoint someone.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally announced Carr’s appointment this week to praise from both sides of the political aisle.
“Special Envoy Carr is a former criminal prosecutor, and currently serves as a military officer. He has also served as an anti-terrorism expert, and a Jewish community leader who has played a prominent role in defending the safety of the Jewish people at home and abroad,” Pompeo said on Tuesday.
“Promoting human rights and religious freedom, including by combating antisemitism everywhere it exists, is a US foreign policy priority that furthers our national interests of stability and democracy,” he continued. “We will not stand by in the face of oppression.”
American Jewish organizations issued laudatory statements both of Carr and of the administration for finally filling the role.
Rep. Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement reflective of the response.
“I welcome the appointment of Elan Carr, a longtime leader in the American Jewish community,” Engel stated. “He knows the Jewish community well, and he is someone who has worked across partisan divides to solve some of the community’s most pressing issues.”
However, he added, “It is unacceptable to have waited over two years for this appointment. For too long, the Trump administration failed the global Jewish community, dragging its feet to fill this critical position during a time of increased antisemitism around the world.”
Last month, the House passed legislation that would force the president to appoint a special envoy within a period of weeks. It has yet to make its way to the Senate floor.
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