WASH­ING­TON:

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Forty for­mer US diplo­mats and na­tional se­cu­rity of­fi­cials urged Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son not to elim­i­nate the State Depart­ment of­fice that han­dles refugees in a let­ter seen by Reuters on Mon­day.

The let­ter ar­gued that a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion pro­posal to trans­fer the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Bureau of Pop­u­la­tion, Refugees and Mi­gra­tion (PRM) to other agen­cies would un­der­cut US diplo­matic lever­age in grap­pling with for­eign crises.

Among the re­tired of­fi­cials who signed the let­ter were for­mer Deputy Sec­re­tary of State Wil­liam Burns, for­mer Un­der Sec­re­taries of State for Po­lit­i­cal Af­fairs Nicholas Burns and Wendy Sher­man and for­mer Mid­dle East peace en­voy Den­nis Ross. (RTRS)

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