Foreign Affairs Minister, Nickolas Steele has dismissed reports circulating in the country in recent weeks that China has not accepted the appointment of former government minister, Karl Hood as Ambassador to that Asian country.
Minister Steele who was addressing a post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday at the Ministry of Works Conference Room announced that Hood is due to take up his posting in China at the end of July.
“There is nothing at all about him being rejected… It is going through the normal process. In fact, I would expect Ambassador Hood to be in China by the end of July,” the Foreign Affairs Minister said.
According to Minister Steele, Beijing has to first go through the process of reviewing the information on Hood that was sent off before responding with the approval – a process that normally takes between three and four months.
“There is that regular process of a three months… period where there isn’t anyone in place as happened with the Chinese Embassy here in Grenada, as will happen very soon because our Indian High Commissioner who is based in Trinidad has informed us that he will be demitting Office in July and his replacement will come in September,” he said.
Hood replaces the daughter of former Prime Minister, Sir Eric Gairy, Marcelle Gairy who served as Ambassador to China during the past four years of the Tillman Thomas Government.
The new envoy to China served as Minister of Foreign Affairs under the former Congress government but resigned, citing a loss of confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Thomas.
Hood and nine others were expelled by NDC delegates at the annual party convention last September as the then Thomas government moved to deal with bitter infighting involving a faction that was loyal to former Tourism Minister, Peter David.
Foreign Affairs Minister Steele also discussed the posting of the Ambassador to London.
He said although Joslyn Whiteman who previously served as Ambassador to China has been accepted by the United Kingdom, his delay is due to the change of location of the office space for the High Commission office.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the Mitchell government is set to name former Ambassador to Washington and the Organisation of American States (OAS), Denis Antoine as the new envoy to the United Nations.
Antoine will be taking over from Ambassador Dessima Williams who was the appointee of the former Congress government.
He reportedly got the nod over former Carnival Queen, Yolande Smith who was being put forward for the post by a lobbying group of Grenadians based in the United States.