Updated: February 26, 2021
The U.S. State Department is flying every American ambassador from around the world to Washington next week in spite of the shutdown, Axios reported on Friday quoting two leaked internal emails.
The Ambassadors are coming to D.C. to attend the global Chiefs of Missions (COM) conference, which will be held from January 16 – 17.
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According to the email, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will host a closing lunch for the group on Thursday. President Trump is not scheduled to meet with the diplomats.
The State Department has been under financial strain during the shutdown, with employees on unpaid furlough and some resources halted.
A former senior State Department official told Axios that when the government shut down in 2013 the department was forced to postpone an important conference for its Public Affairs Officers until after a spending bill was passed.
The department told ambassadors that “the conference is mandatory,” and that they are allowed to be absent from their posts from January 14–20 in order to attend.