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US Embassy scales down operations

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The shutdown of the United States public system following failure to pass the country’s budget in time has affected its embassy in Malawi, where operations have been scaled down.

The shutdown follows misunderstandings between Congress and President Donald Trump last Thursday, when they failed to reach an agreement to restore federal spending authority and deal with demands from Democrats that about 700, 000 young people known as Dreamers be protected from deportation.

According to reports in American media, the shutdown has also affected thousands of federal workers who might not go back to work until after February 8.

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American Embassy Public Affairs Officer, Edward Monster, has confirmed the scaling down of the embassy’s operations, a thing which was also announced on its official Facebook page.

According to the announcement, due to the shutdown, there will be no regular updates until after the US government opens.

“Non-essential businesses have been shut down. You are probably seeing from the international media that the US government is currently shut down. It is a fact that the United States Embassy here in Malawi is closed for non-essential business,” Monster said.

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He added: “However, scheduled passport and visa services at the embassy here in Lilongwe will continue. If you have a previously scheduled visa interview, the consular office will be open to conduct visa interviews. And for American citizens who may need passport services, consular offices remain open.”

He also said the United States Agency for International Development (Usaid) is also closed for all non-essential business.

On the other hand, Monster said all projects and programmes that are already funded will continue and that Malawians working at the embassy have not been affected by the development and that the embassy respects the country’s labour laws.

A shutdown of the US government last happened in 2013 and lasted 16 days

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