Petitions urge Trump to remove ambassador to Iceland

28.07.2020 - 12:19
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American citizens living in Iceland have launched a petition calling on Donald Trump to remove Jeffrey Ross Gunter from the post of US ambassador to Iceland.

The petition started yesterday following coverage in Iceland and the USA that Gunter feels unsafe in Iceland and wants to carry a gun and/or employ armed bodyguards. 

The supporting notes with the official White House petition claim that: “Under the leadership of Ambassador Gunter, both consular services & support for strategic Iceland-U.S. partnerships have fallen delinquent. He has misrepresented the people of the United States & offended Iceland, an invaluable ally to the U.S. for decades. Iceland is ranked as the most peaceful nation with one of the lowest violent crime rates. Ambassador Gunter’s behavior related to unfounded fears of physical harm while In Iceland represent conduct unbefitting a U.S. diplomat.” 

Official “We the People” petitions to the White House require 100,000 signatures within 30 days to be guaranteed a response. As the petition is worded as a plea from Americans resident in Iceland and there are only 748 Americans living in Iceland (at the end of 2019, excluding dual Icelandic citizens), that goal will probably not be reached. 155 had signed at the time of writing. 

A separate Change.org petition on the same topic had around 400 signatures at the time of writing. 

The ambassador reportedly wants an armed guard, and the embassy has advertised for bodyguards in Icelandic newspapers. According to sources of RÚV’s Kveikur programme, the ambassador is convinced his life is in danger because he is Jewish. 

Gunter visited the USA this spring and, according to CBS coverage, refused to return to Reykjavík until Secretary of State Mike Pompeo personally asked him to return to his post. 

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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