Ambassador Bell posts farewell video ahead of Trump inauguration

History

U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell has posted a video on the embassy’s Facebook page summarizing her time in the country and giving thanks for the support she has received; she is due to leave her position on Friday, when Donald J. Trump is inaugurated as President of the United States.

“It’s been an extraordinary privilege and honor to be President Obama’s representative to your country… I am grateful to you for all of the kindness you’ve shown me and my family during our time here,” the ambassador says in the video posted online. “As I reflect on my experiences in Hungary, I focus on the wonderful people I’ve met, the amazing culture I’ve come to enjoy and the incredible history I’ve learned to appreciate,” she adds.

Reflecting on her time in post, she says that she has enjoyed “every minute” of her work in the country, representing the United States of America. “I am proud of the progress we’ve made on many important issues, including increasing trade, promoting our commercial ties, strengthening our security, and law enforcement cooperation and deepening educational exchanges,” Bell says. “I have worked tirelessly with your government and representatives to create a constructive dialog to reach our common goals,” she adds. 

Bell announced on Facebook on January 6 that she would be leaving at the end of her assignment in the country on January 20, the diplomat announced on the official Facebook page of the U.S. Embassy Budapest. 

She is one among many political ambassadorial appointees obliged to leave their posts immediately, a report in The New York Times noted. According to the report, Trump’s transition staff has issued an edict requiring politically appointed ambassadors to leave their posts by Inauguration Day, breaking with decades of precedent by declining to provide even the briefest of grace periods. The mandate – issued “without exceptions” according to a State Department cable sent on December 23 – threatens to leave the U.S. without Senate-confirmed envoys for months in critical nations like Germany, Canada and the U.K., notes the report.

The video can be seen below.

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