There has been a good bit of nonsense floating around that we are closing our embassy to Vatican City. It has even been repeated by some in Congress who really ought to know better.
Yes, we are moving the building (which is not the same thing as closing...). Yes, it will be located on the compound with the U.S. Embassy to Italy. Just like our embassy to UN agencies in Rome is already located on the same compound.
The main reason for the move is security. There are many cities where we have more than one embassy. Rome is one. Vienna is another. I could name others. The independent Benghazi Accountability Review Board renewed calls for all missions located within one municipal area to be moved into the same compound. That is what is happening here.
And our embassy to Vatican City was not located in Vatican City (no room), but like the embassies of other countries to Vatican City, it was located in Rome. And the new embassy will actually be a tenth of a mile CLOSER to Vatican City.
And you know what else? The building is 78% bigger than the current building. AND, it is a lot nicer.
|Old building on the left, new on the right. |
Photo courtesy of blogs.state.gov