"WASHINGTON — Most of the United States’ special envoys will be abolished and their responsibilities reassigned as part of the State Department overhaul, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Congress on Monday, including envoys for climate change and the Iran deal.
Special envoys for Afghanistan-Pakistan, disability rights and closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center will be eliminated under the plan. But President Donald Trump’s administration plans to keep envoys for religious freedom, fighting anti-Semitism and LGBT rights, despite speculation from critics that it would seek to downgrade those priorities.
Lawmakers of both parties, think tanks and even the diplomats’ association have long called for absorbing some of the countless U.S. envoys and special representatives into related offices, to help reduce redundancies across the State Department’s notoriously unwieldy bureaucracy. But the idea has attracted new scrutiny amid the Trump administration’s plans to drastically cut the State Department’s budget and concerns that Trump was eschewing the promotion of American values overseas."