Tillerson to abolish most special envoys, including climate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to eliminate more than half the U.S. special envoys including the climate change envoy as part of his State Department overhaul.

Tillerson notified Congress in his a letter on Monday. His letter says 30 of the current 66 envoys or “special representatives” will stay. The rest of the envoys, their staffs and budgets will be absorbed into other offices or combined with other positions.

There will no longer be envoys for the Iran nuclear deal or closing the Guantanamo Bay prison. Tillerson is keeping envoys for religious freedom, fighting anti-Semitism and LGBT rights.

The move has long been called for by think tanks, lawmakers and the diplomats’ union. But it’s attracted new scrutiny in the Trump administration amid plans to drastically cut the budget.

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