US backs Venezuela envoy pick amid row

US envoy pick stirred Venezuelan ire, saying," Venezuela's military was "considerably low" in morale and professionalism.

US backs Venezuela envoy pick amid row

The United States said Monday it had received no formal notification that the newly-nominated US envoy to Caracas has been rejected by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for comments he made about Venezuela's military.

"Mr. (Larry) Palmer is still our nominee to be ambassador in Caracas," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

Crowley added that the United States had already received "agrement" for Palmer from the Venezuelans, referring to the approval process for a new ambassador.

The United States is Venezuela's top oil buyer, and Caracas is the fifth biggest U.S. supplier after Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Nigeria.

Chavez on Sunday appeared to reject Palmer as the US ambassador-designate to Venezuela as he urged US President Barack Obama to look for another candidate.

When reporters alluded to Chavez's statement, Crowley replied: "You're referring to something we have not heard officially."

"We're certainly hopeful that we can assuage whatever concerns the Venezuelan government has. But he is still our nominee," Crowley said.

Palmer stirred Venezuelan ire, saying," Venezuela's military was "considerably low" in morale and professionalism.

In written answers to a US lawmaker's questions -- his nomination as ambassador must be confirmed by the Senate -- Palmer also said there were "clear ties" between leftist Colombian guerrillas and Chavez's government.



Agencies

Last Mod: 10 Ağustos 2010, 11:40
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