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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

US embassy in UAE affected by government shutdown

Posting to the embassy's twitter account suspended as funding row over building of wall on border with Mexico deepens

The US government has partially closed down due to a funding row over President Donald Trump's demands for billions of dollars to be set aside for the building of a all on the Mexican border. Bloomberg    
The US government has partially closed down due to a funding row over President Donald Trump's demands for billions of dollars to be set aside for the building of a all on the Mexican border. Bloomberg    

The US embassy in the UAE has been affected by the government shutdown in America.

On Saturday, the US mission to the Emirates tweeted that posting to the account would be suspended "due to a lapse in appropriations".

It advised those seeking information to follow the US State Department Twitter account.

It also retweeted a statement from the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs assuring the public that scheduled passport and visa services would continue in the US and overseas during the shutdown.

The partial shutdown was sparked by a fierce dispute over President Donald Trump's demands that Congress assign $5 billion (Dh18.3bn) for a wall along the border with Mexico.

After failing to strike a budget deal on Friday, congressional leaders and the White House pledged to keep talking through the weekend in search of a deal to end the shutdown ahead of the Christmas holiday.

The impasse came after Mr Trump refused earlier in the week to agree to a short-term funding deal cut by Democratic and Republican senators because it did not include the $5 billion for his border wall.

About three quarters of federal government programmes are funded through to September 30 next year, but the financing for all others — including the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Agriculture — expired at midnight.

Federal parks will close and more than 400,000 federal "essential" employees in those agencies will work without pay until the dispute is resolved. Another 380,000 will be "furloughed", meaning they are put on temporary leave.

It is unclear when the embassy will resume full operations but for the shutdown to end, both the House and the Senate must approve any deal negotiated between Mr Trump's team and Republican and Democratic leaders.

The shutdown could persist at least until a new Congress convenes on January 3 and Democrats take control of the House . That does not necessarily mean, however, that Mr Trump would agree to a compromise.

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Updated: December 23, 2018 09:23 AM

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