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Local daily claims U.S. Ambassador Bell will step down

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Citing unnamed sources, Hungarian daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet claimed today that U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell will be standing down from her post after Novemberʼs U.S. presidential elections, regardless of the outcome.

The daily claims that Bell has already decided to step down from her role, having tired of trying to improve Hungarian-American relations. 

The daily suggests that Bell would leave her position at the beginning of next year, or early spring at the latest, and that David Kostelancik, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Hungary, would be taking over the role on a temporary basis.

Bell was first nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama on November 6, 2013, but her approval by the Senate was delayed until December 2, 2014, as she became one of a number of ambassadorial appointments put on hold by the ongoing impasse between Republicans and Democrats.

Ending the 18-month absence of an American ambassador to Hungary since Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis departed in July 2013, Bell arrived in Budapest on January 19, 2015, and presented her credentials to Hungary’s President János Áder a few days later.

The U.S. Embassy in Hungary has not yet reacted to the report.

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