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Trump's new ambassador to the United Nations


Mohammed al-Menshawi, Washington

Known as the "absent ambassador"; she was absent from her workplace in the Canadian capital of Ottawa more than 300 days in 15 months spent as US ambassador to Canada.

Kelly Kraft, the new US ambassador to the United Nations, was chosen by President Donald Trump after the vacancy for more than nine months since the departure of Ambassador Nicky Healy in November.

Sen. Robert Mendes, leader of the Senate's Democratic Minority, accused her of adopting a 54-vote majority against her 34-member cabinet.

Kelly's kiss to White House economic adviser Larry Kudlo in October 2018 (Reuters)

Kelly is not known in American politics; she is alien to Washington, and she has no resume of any educational or practical experience with foreign affairs, unlike her predecessor, a senior US diplomat, most understanding of the complexity of the international landscape.

Names such as John Bolton, Richard Holbrooke, or Thomas Beckerg reflected the importance of the post through a distinguished CV through long years of work both inside and outside foreign policy institutions and centers, whether in official or informal positions at important research centers or prestigious universities . Kelly approached political action only in a symbolic role for several days on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in 2007.

Economic influence
Kelly, 57, married 30 years ago to a US coal and gas giant, billionaire Joe Craft, and her family has close ties to Kentucky senator and senator Michele McConnell.

Because of this relationship, which relies on million-dollar donations for senatorial election campaigns, millions of dollars for the Trump campaign and his inauguration as President of the United States, Kelly was nominated for the position of US Ambassador to Canada, her only foreign policy position between April 2018 and July 2019.

Democrats are opposed to Kelly Kraft and see it as an adventure to choose an ambassador in Canada, but the role of her delegate to the United Nations is more important. Therefore, you should not risk putting someone who is not qualified to play this sensitive role, International Security.

Kelly Kraft at the Lima Group Summit in Canada in February (Reuters)

Democrats question Kelly's ability to restore Washington's leadership role in the United Nations, especially within the Security Council, after the post was vacant for more than nine months without an ambassador.

The Democrats' objections to the new ambassador - apart from the lack of experience and qualifications - stem from two angles: the first is her permanent absence from her workplace in Ottawa, and according to a report distributed by the Senate Democratic Minority, within 15 months Kelly spent 357 days, meaning she spent 58 percent of her time outside Canada , And the regulations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs allow only a maximum of 26 days per year.

The report also notes that she spent seven months in her native Kentucky with her family during her tenure as ambassador to Canada. Democratic senators ran into records from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that show 128 flights from Ottawa twice a week.

The timing of some of these trips coincided with major events in Kentucky, such as the famous Derby Kentucky race, and participation in activities related to her husband and his companies. Kelly also traveled 11 times without permission from the State Department in Washington.

"I traveled a lot to negotiate the new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico instead of the NAFTA," Kelly said. "I traveled a lot to promote better relations with Canada."

With Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at his office November 2017 (Reuters)

Conflict of interests
The second angle concerns the conflict of interest. The nature of the Ambassador's husband's work as a senior coal mining man in the United States has caused a conflict of interest.

Although Kelly has promised to stay away from any discussions or policies on coal, environmental standards or energy issues during her new job, her record and family donations to Republican campaigns put her in doubt, especially saying there are "conflicting scientific views on the reality of climate change" .

Doubts about Kelly also compound the nature of her husband's financial relationships with industry circles in the global energy sector, which may intersect with ambassador's files with coal-producing countries, energy issues and environmental policies.

During her visits to Washington, Kelly spent 29 nights at the Trump Hotel in the center of the capital, raising doubts about using her financial leverage to get closer to the White House and the president's family.

Kraft to meet US president in Canada for G7 summit in June 2018 (Reuters)

Arab Issues
Kelly Kraft is not known to have any interest in Arab or Middle Eastern issues, but her coming from the Republican-leaning state of Kentucky, where religious Christians represent a large percentage of voters, reflects a trend in favor of Israeli policies.

During the hearing, her ignorance of the issues of the Middle East emerged as she chose to attack Iran and show support for Israel in her answers. During her confirmation session last Wednesday, Kelly was exposed to accusations that she had not qualified for such a prestigious position. Kelly's responses supported the skepticism of council members who were skeptical about her abilities and knowledge of the most important international issues and their complexities.

For example, she replied that "Libya has not changed the regime so far," in response to a question from Republican Senator Paul Rand about her view of the troubled situation in Libya since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

Kelly will face an important test next month as the United Nations General Assembly convenes its annual meetings, in which world leaders and kings participate. But because of Trump's indifference to traditional diplomatic traditions and his reliance on personal relationships, Kelly may pass this test easily.

Source: aljazeera

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