Ex-Lithuanian FM in CIA prison row named EU Afghan envoy

A former Lithuanian foreign minister forced to resign this year after denying his country hosted a secret CIA prison was named the EU ambassador to Afghanistan

Ex-Lithuanian FM in CIA prison row named EU Afghan envoy

A former Lithuanian foreign minister forced to resign this year after denying his country hosted a secret CIA prison was named the EU ambassador to Afghanistan on Monday.

Diplomats said Vygaudas Usackas, 46, who has served as ambassador to Britain and United States, won approval of EU foreign ministers after his candidacy was proposed by the bloc's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.

"I am 100 percent satisfied with this appointment ... and there is nothing I need to be in any way worried about," Ashton told a news briefing after a meeting with foreign ministers.

Usackas was forced to resign as Lithuania's top diplomat this year after a dispute with the country's president over whether Lithuania had hosted an illegal CIA prison in 2004-2005.

Local news media had alleged he may have helped to cover up the existence of the prisons.

But Usackas said an official investigation showed there were no such sites, while President Dalia Grybauskaite said it backed her view the jails existed.

The European Parliament's author of a report on Afghanistan has called into question Usackas's fitness to serve as envoy.

Usackas will replace Ettore Francesco Sequi, the EU envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, who is to step down this month.

Reuters

Last Mod: 22 Şubat 2010, 22:02
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