FEATURED

Introducing American Ambassadors Events , the podcast that allows listeners to "sit-in" on otherwise exclusive events hosted by the Council of American Ambassadors.

Available now: “Contentious Neighbors” Spring Conference
Listen to the latest CAA event “Contentious Neighbors” with presentations on Russia and Ukraine ; China and Taiwan ; and Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Middle East .

Coming to iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher soon.
THE TOP THREE
1. More bans on Huawei from Japan and the UK

What's going on
Several companies suspended business with Huawei following the United States decision to blacklist the Chinese telecommunications firm. Two Japanese mobile carriers announced they will suspend sales of new Huawei phones and a UK-based chip design company said it would also suspend business with the firm.
What Ambassadors are saying
”What many people have said to me in private, if not yet in public, is that they’re cheering on Donald Trump in standing up to practices that maybe they themselves are not so happy with, but as a smaller company or smaller nation, they’re less comfortable speaking up. The reality is that if you look at China’s behavior, they’ve done so many great things to lift up their people, but China’s also known as a vindictive nation, punishing countries and companies for things that they don’t necessarily like." (Ambassador Curtis Chin, former U.S. Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank, CNBC )
2. New U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia arrives in Riyadh

What's going on
Last week the United States newly appointed Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, General John Abizaid, arrived in Riyadh. Ambassador Abizaid was nominated by President Trump for the position that had remained vacant since January 2017. Ambassador Abizaid led the U.S. Central Command during the Iraq War from 2003 to 2007 as top U.S. commander in the Middle East.
What Ambassadors are saying
"The appointment of General John Abizaid as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia is timely and of key importance to U.S. policy interests in the Middle East, given the turmoil in the region and U.S. policy reliance on the bilateral relationship during this critical time in our history. The Saudi Arabian government places great importance on U.S. presidential appointments and has insisted for several decades that the Ambassador be a political appointee of the President, as they view the position traditionally as speaking directly for and having direct access to the White House. In this appointment, Saudi Arabia is not only getting a high level political appointment but an extremely qualified individual. Ambassador Abizaid was the Head of the U.S. Central Command, responsible for all U.S. military matters affecting the Gulf, Middle East and Horn of Africa including 27 countries. He served as the Deputy Commander (Forward), Combined Forces Command, during operation Iraqi Freedom, speaks Arabic and is of Lebanese ethnic background, giving him a particular cultural understanding of the region." (Ambassador Edward Gabriel, former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco)
3. Prime Minister Theresa May announces her resignation

What's going on
UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she will step down as Tory leader on June 7. In her statement she said she had done everything she could to convince MPs to support the Brexit deal she negotiated with the European Union. She said, "I believe it was right to persevere, even when the odds against success seemed high, but it is now clear to me that it is in the best interest of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort." PM May and Tory party chairman agreed that the process to elect a new leader should begin in the following week.
What Ambassadors are saying
"When we were in the last year of the Obama administration we did a series of studies as to what the UK leaving the EU would mean. Both for us, the United States, and the UK itself. The result of all of those studies is it would be bad news for the United States and Europe and the UK for lots of reasons, but the key reason is we wanted the UK to be part of a bigger tent. We thought that the EU, despite all of its faults, was a partnership, was a union that actually can deliver and has useful tools to address common challenges, regional and global challenges, for the United States. I still believe that." (Ambassador Anthony Gardner, former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, PBS )
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