In a break with tradition, US President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has intimated all ambassadors appointed by the Obama administration to leave before the Inauguration Day on January 20. Usually, the diplomats get a grace period to make the exit. The US ambassador to New Zealand Mark Gilbert confirmed this to Reuters.
The message was sent to all ambassadors in a state department cable on December 23. It applies to everyone and no exceptions will be made. Trump has taken a strong stance against keeping any political appointees from Obama's time.
Gilbert confirmed to Reuters about the news, which was reported by New York Times quoting diplomatic sources. Previously, both political parties have given time to ambassadors, especially those with school-age children, to stay on for months or weeks.
The Senate needs to confirm US envoys to other countries and the blanket order for the ambassadors leaves US with no representatives in important countries like Germany, Canada, Britain for months, said New York Times.
The Trump transition team said that the order was meant to ensure that all officials from Obama's time leave on schedule just like thousands of political aides at the White House and federal agencies.
Diplomats in other countries told the newspaper that the Trump order has created chaos in their personal lives leaving them scrambling to get visas and living arrangements in countries where they are stationed so that their children can finish school.