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US diplomats ask Senate to reject Norway nominee

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US diplomats ask Senate to reject Norway nominee
George Tsunis speaking to the US senate in January - Source: Screen Grab
22:40 CET+01:00
Senior members of a professional body representing US diplomats have called on the country's Senate to reject George Tsunis, the nominee ambassador for Norway.
Tsunis committed a serious of embarrassing blunders in his January pre-appointment hearing, which led one Norwegian politician to call for a public apology from Barack Obama, the US President. 
 
On March 7, fifteen former presidents of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) wrote a letter to key US Senators including former Presidential candidate John McCain, urging them to reject President Obama's nominee ambassadors to Norway, Hungary and Argentina. 
 
"We urge you to oppose granting Senate consent to these three candidates," the letter read. "Although we have no reason to doubt that the nominees are conscientious and worthy Americans, the fact that they appear to have been chosen on the basis of their service in raising money for electoral campaigns, with minimal demonstrated qualifications for their posts, has subjected them to widespread public ridicule, not only in the US but also abroad." 
 
Tsunis was widely condemned for his apparent ignorance of Norway during his first senate hearing. 
 
He referred to Norway's president, apparently believing that the country is a republic rather than a constitutional monarchy, and described the Progress party, one of the two party's in the country's coalition government as "fringe elements" who "spew their hatred". 
 
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