|Law Offices of Janet J. Greathouse
Immigration and Nationality Law
|State Department Spokesman Reports Consulate Post Closures
During a press briefing on March 20, U.S. Department of State Spokesman Richard Boucher stated that approximately 14 embassies and consular posts in 14 countries have been closed on a short-term basis. Despite the closings, arrangements have been made to provide emergency services to American citizens. Although these posts may be closed to the general public, American citizens may contact the post by phone, and obtain information through the State Department's web site.
According to Mr. Boucher:
“The posts in Israel, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are closed to the public today. Buenos Aires, Australia, Canberra and all the consulates, Kenya, Damascus, Almaty, posts in France mostly closed to the public. The embassy in Paris is doing emergency visas only and reduced services.
“In Nigeria, Abuja and Lagos, Lagos is closed to the general public. Abuja is running with reduced operations. In South Africa, Johannesburg is closed to the public. Then Oslo, Indonesia, Surabaya, closed to the public.
“The posts in Turkey are open, but reduced services. In Pakistan, the posts are closed to the public. Sao Paolo, Brazil is doing emergency visas only and reduced services. So, in some ways or in others, some may not be entirely closed. But in places like that where Americans are located, there will be emergency services available and I guess the basic advice is call us before you come in to see us in places like that.”
During the press briefing Mr. Boucher stated that 15 posts were closed in 15 countries. However, the briefing transcript at the State Department’s web site notes that he “meant to say 14 posts.” Mr. Boucher further stated that the list of countries closing posts is not definitive and that “it may not even be accurate at this precise moment.” However, closings are based on an assessment of local security situations.
For a transcript of the briefing, please click here.
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