Forward Magazine leaks the name of the probable US Ambassador to Damascus!

Ambassador Walles or Khury to Damascus?

As the year comes to an end, two new names are floating in the air — leaked to us at Forward Magazine by our sources in Damascus and Washington, on who the new US ambassador to Syria will be.

This comes after the State Department reportedly sent its recommendation to the White House for approval. One is Jacob Walles, the former US consul general in Jerusalem, and Nabil Khury, a veteran of the Foreign Service, of Lebanese origins, who rose to fame in the Arab world for serving as liaison officer between the US and Arab media during the Iraq war in 2003.

Foreign diplomats stationed in Damascus insist that no names are on the table on who the new US ambassador will be, and journalists in Washington DC echo a similar line: “No Names!” What everybody is sure of, however, is that an ambassador will be named—soon—to Syria, given that US President Barack Obama decided to name one last June, to fill a post that has been vacant since 2005. The only reason for delay, sources confirm, is pure bureaucratic hassle of the Department of State.

Previously, two names had surfaced in the media, being Fredric Hof, a State Department veteran, and Daniel Kurtzer, a former US ambassador to Israel in 2001-2005. Forward Magazine contacted Hof earlier in 2009 and he said, “To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of my impending appointment are greatly exaggerated. Indeed, they are false. I have maintained a lifelong habit of not accepting jobs I’ve not been offered, and this one will be no exception.”

Will these names prove to be another hoax? Our sources confirm otherwise… although if Nabil Khury is chosen by President Obama, he would be the second Khury ambassador to Syria, after Lebanon named Michel Khury to Syria earlier in 2009. In fact the list of Khurys would now be a long one: Michel Khury, Syrian novelist Colette Khury, and now, US “ambassador” Nabil Khury?

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2 Responses

  1. It’s taking the United States a long time to appoint an ambassador in Damascus.
    Similar information circulated in the news in June … but nothing has happened during the past few months.
    I heard that the American Embassy was negotiating a new plot of land for its location, with the Syrians showing lack of interest in changing the current location of the embassy.

  2. The Americans are warming up to Syria, with the Europeans trying their best to take the country out of its cocoon. There is a subtle race going on. Recently Syria said it wasn’t going to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, after months of negotiations and expressed enthusiasm by Syrian officials.
    The fact that the Syrians halted the Agreement might mean American interference was playing a role in this, some political analysts say.
    If the US appoints an ambassador, trade agreements to open up Syria would more likely be directed at the American link, and the EU would become second best – granted that the US eases the embargo a notch down, the same way it did a few months ago.
    It looks Syria is on its way out of a long period of isolation.

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