- Category: the BIG story
- Published: 02 July 2014
- Written by Czech News Agency
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It remains unclear how long position will be vacant before U.S. Congress approves designated successor
Prague, July 2 (ČTK) — The U.S. ambassador to Prague, H.E. Norman Eisen, will leave the Czech Republic in August, and it is not clear when he will be replaced by Andrew Schapiro, daily Hospodářské noviny (HN) writes, citing the embassy's press attaché, Daniel Ernst.
U.S. President Barack Obama proposed Andrew Schapiro as the new ambassador to the Czech Republic in March. However, Schapiro is among more than 30 candidates for ambassadors whose nomination is being blocked by the Republicans in the U.S. Congress, the paper writes.
It may happen that Schapiro's nomination process will move forward only after the congressional (mid-term) election in November. In such a case, the negotiations about new ambassadors would continue only at the beginning of 2015, HN writes.
The post of U.S. ambassador was vacant for nearly two years in 2009–10, as Eisen's candidacy got stuck in the U.S. Senate.
Eisen has held the post of U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic since January 2011.
The paper writes that Eisen wants to be back in Washington with his wife and daughter at the beginning of the school year, which starts in August.
As the tender for the construction of two new blocks of the Temelín nuclear power plant was canceled in April, one of the main tasks of Eisen's mission, to support the bid of the U.S.-Japanese company Westinghouse, came to an end, the paper writes.
Like Eisen, Schapiro is close to Obama. They both studied at Harvard Law School in the late 1980s. Schapiro also helped raise money for Obama's presidential campaigns.
In the early 1990s, Schapiro was a law clerk to Harry Blackmun, who was a renowned justice at the U.S. Supreme Court, and he worked in the Federal Defenders Office in New York.
Schapiro's mother, Raya Czerner Schapiro, was from Czechoslovakia, and her family fled Prague after the Nazi invasion in 1939.