An unusual delay prevents US ambassador to Morocco David Fischer from taking office

Nominated twice by President Donald Trump, the United States ambassador to Morocco David Fischer has waited 586 days to get confirmed by the Senate. This delay is dubbed unprecedented, especially as previous American ambassadors to the Kingdom waited on average three months.

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US ambassador to Morocco David T. Fischer. / Ph. DR

In the United States, the Senate is taking time to confirm ambassadors. The delays are seen as massive and unprecedented, according to data reviewed by American political journalism website The Washington Examiner.

Speaking to the same newspaper, former diplomat Alexander Vershbow said that these «delays reduce the effectiveness of [US] embassies abroad by depriving them of high-level leadership that can speak with authority to the governments and citizens of foreign nations».

«It also sends a more general message that the United States — not just the Trump administration, but the Congress — doesn’t take diplomacy seriously anymore. It further erodes the professionalism and morale of our Foreign Service», the US former NATO ambassador argued.

The US ambassador to Morocco David Fischer

The newspaper made a list of US ambassadors who have been waiting to get confirmed to take office. The Senate delays have kept Doug Manchester, nominee to be envoy to the Bahamas, waiting for 785 days.

The US ambassador nominated by the Trump administration David Fischer comes second as he has waited 586 days, The Washington Examiner said, noting that «the previous four ambassadors to Morocco waited on average 94 days».

On November the 21st, 2017, the White House announced in a communiqué that President Donald Trump nominated American businessman David T. Fischer to be the next US ambassador to Morocco. Since then, the candidate has been waiting for his nomination to get confirmed by the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, a committee charged with leading foreign-policy legislation and debate in the Senate.

According to the same source, the ambassador confirmation delays could be linked to the crisis between Republicans and Democrats. It is worth mentioning that the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is chaired by Republican James Risch.

While Fischer’s confirmation is pending, the US Embassy could see the departure of its charge d'affaires Stephany Miley, well-informed sources told Yabiladi. She would be replaced by a former diplomat who had previously worked in Morocco as a political adviser.

Despite the delay regarding David Fischer’s confirmation, Morocco and the United States have continued working on their bilateral meetings and program. On July 3rd, Rabat and Washington convened a working group of the U.S.-Morocco Strategic Dialogue on security cooperation between the two countries.

The meeting was co-chaired by Nathan A. Sales, Coordinator for Counterterrorism within the U.S. Department of State, and Ismail Chekkori from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ambassador of the kingdom in the United States, Lalla Joumala was also present.

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