Wednesday, February 24, 2010

US Embassy Asmara Suspends Consular Services

Map of EritreaImage via Wikipedia

GOE Interferes with Diplomatic Pouches Delivery

The US Embassy in Eritrea has this notice on its website: 

“Due to an interruption by the Government of Eritrea of the delivery of the Embassy’s diplomatic pouches, the Embassy has had to suspend the provision of all consular activities except for emergency American citizen services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and hope to resume the full range of consular services as soon as possible.”

The embassy has also issued a Warden Message last week (Warden Message | U.S. Embassy Asmara | February 19, 2010) regarding the suspension of services:

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Eritrea, recommends that U.S. citizens defer travel at this time, and informs U.S. citizens that the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Asmara is currently closed for all public non-emergency services.  The Consular Section will continue to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.

Periodically since September 13, 2008, the Government of Eritrea has repeatedly, and in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, interfered with the unfettered delivery of the U.S. Embassy's diplomatic pouches. As a result, the Embassy is unable to receive critical supplies and materials necessary for the conduct of normal operations. Until this matter is resolved, the consular section of the U.S. Embassy has no choice but to suspend all non-emergency services. This closure affects all routine services to American citizens, such as Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, passport services, and notarial services. The Embassy hopes to resume consular services once the Government of Eritrea resumes uninterrupted delivery of diplomatic pouches. Until then, American citizens who need routine consular services should consider traveling to the U.S. Embassies in Cairo, Egypt or Nairobi, Kenya, or the U.S. Consulate in Dubai, U.A.E.

Read the whole thing here.

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