US, EU ambassadors to depart BA
Noah Mamet submits resignation effective January 20 and José Ignacio Salafranca to return to European Parliament in Brussels, both after short terms in Argentina
After almost two years in office, United States Ambassador to Argentina Noah Mamet has announced he has formally sent his resignation to US President Barack Obama on December 7, adding he will remain working until January 20, according to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Buenos Aires.
As the Herald reported in November, Mamet used the forum of the Thanksgiving Day lunch at the American Club to confirm that he was going to be ending his mission in the country in the very near future, after Donald Trump won the US presidential election last November. Now the decision has been made official.
According to the statement, the ambassador will be “working on the transition” while deputy chief of mission Thomas Cooney will fill the position after January 20, until the new administration appoints a new envoy.
Mamet, a veteran Democratic fundraiser and consultant, collaborated on Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, as well as with former US president Bill Clinton and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
He has also been president of Noah Mamet & Associates, a consulting firm that focuses on business and politics in Los Angeles, California. Contrary to press reports, the Herald understands that Mamet will not be settling permanently in Argentina after his resignation.
His nomination by US President Obama was confirmed on December 2, 2014, by the US Senate. Mamet’s confirmation had been opposed by Senators Bob Menéndez (D-New Jersey) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida), both of whom have ties to the NML vulture fund, which is led by Paul Singer.
Mamet was sworn in as US ambassador to Argentina during a ceremony held at the White House in 2014 together with US Vice-President Joseph Biden and the then-Argentine ambassador to the US Cecilia Nahón.
Mamet started his mission here in the same week as the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
In its statement the Embassy says that Mamet’s future plans have not been established yet although he plans “to keep having a useful role for both countries (the US and Argentina) in the private sector.”
“The ambassador is very proud that the Buenos Aires Embassy was in November 2016 at the top of the ranking in the world of US visas issued by a US embassy, showing the ties between both countries,” the statement added.
KEY EU OFFICIAL LEAVING
Meanwhile, European Union Ambassador in Argentina, the Spanish politician José Ignacio Salafranca — considered by many a key official in negotiations between Mauricio Macri’s administration and the EU — surprisingly resigned this week and in a few days will be back in Brussels, to fill a position in the EU Parliament with the Partido Popular (PP).
As the El Cronista newspaper reported, Salafranca’s departure shocked many Argentine officials serving in the Pink House, as the former EU ambassador was the main interlocutor with the government in the negotiations aimed at signing a free trade agreement between the Mercosur bloc and European countries.