Irish Republican News · January 22, 2007
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Reiss leaves envoy post

The US special envoy to the North, Mitchell Reiss, is to step down this month after almost three years in the post.

He will be replaced by Paula Dobriansky, an extreme rightist who currently works at the US State Department as Under Secretary of State. Dobriansky was among the first of the so-called ‘neocons’ to call for the US invasion of Iraq.

Dobriansky is yet to be confirmed for the appointment, which carries the title of ambassador.

Mr Reiss is expected to make one last visit to Ireland, north and south, as special envoy in coming weeks.

Among the key goals that Reiss worked on during his time as special envoy has been to push Sinn Féin towards accepting the PSNI police.

Reiss was linked to a policy which blocked Sinn Féin representatives from attending fund-raising events in the US earlier this year, seen as a heavy-handed attempt to force Sinn Féin’s position.

The Sinn Féin leadership’s recent change in direction on the issue will be seen as a personal successf for the former envoy.

Reiss said he was delighted that Dobriansky, whom he has known for almost 30 years, has agreed to succeed him.

“Paula and I have already had extensive conversations about the nature of the job and the American role.

“Specifically, I told her how much progress has been made in the peace process over the past few years and that she’s entering it now at a very propitious moment.

“She and I will be travelling to Northern Ireland at the end of this month and I’ll be introducing her to all our colleagues and counterparts, and making sure that the transition is as seamless as possible.”

Reiss said the US role in the peace process was constantly evolving, depending on circumstances on the ground.

“I think we’ve maintained a very strong record of constant commitment to this issue and I think that it has continued, along with the work of many other people, to where we are today, which is a remarkable place.”

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© 2007 Irish Republican News