The Cable

Did Egypt's Foreign Minister Resign or Not?

News wires across the globe reported that Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr resigned from office -- so why is he still John Kerry's official point of contact in the Egyptian government?

At a Tuesday press briefing, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki surprised reporters when she began the briefing with a readout from a phone call that Kerry "just" placed with Amr to convey the Obama administration's position on Egypt's unrest. When asked why Kerry was conveying official messages to a minister who reportedly resigned Tuesday morning, Psaki told reporters she would "refer you to the Egyptian government" on Amr's status.

So is he the foreign minister or not?

Officials at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington did not have answers for The Cable and refused to be quoted on the record. Every report of Amr's resignation stems from the Egyptian state news agency MENA. As Reuters noted, "the report did not elaborate or say where it got the information."

Despite the lack of details, the report has served to convey further chaos and disarray in the Morsy government. AFP called the resignation "a further blow to Morsi" and exit of "the latest and most high profile minister." (At least five other ministers have resigned, according to reports, since mass protests occurred on Sunday.) It's possible that Amr tendered his resignation but it was rejected by Morsy, keeping Amr in his position. Embassy officials declined to speculate on that possibility.

Psaki said Kerry told Amr that "it is important to listen to the Egyptian people" and that "the United States is committed to the democratic process in Egypt [and] does not support any single party or group."

The Cable will update when the Amr's status is clarified.

At the briefing, Psaki went on to reject a CNN report said the Obama administration is urging Morsy to call for early elections. "Reports that we've been urging early elections are inaccurate" she said. In a statement to The Cable, a National Security Council spokesperson also said the report is "not accurate." The statement added: "President Obama has encouraged President Morsy to take steps to show that he is responsive to the concerns of the Egyptian people and underscored that the current crisis can only be resolved through a political process.  As the President has made clear since the revolution, only Egyptians can make the decisions that will determine their future."

At the briefing, Psaki declined to say whether the U.S. was advocating that Morsy appoint a new cabinet or prime minister, as other reports have indicated.

The Cable

Dominican Republic Says It's Always Been Cool With Gay Ambassadors

Last week, the Dominican Republic kept quiet after President Obama's nomination of a gay U.S. ambassador triggered intense condemnation from religious groups in the country. But now the island nation tells The Cable it's totally fine with gay ambassadors.

On Friday, religious leaders called on Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina to reject Obama's appointment of James "Wally" Brewster as U.S. ambassador to the country. Brewster, who would be the seventh U.S. ambassador in history to be openly gay, was a fundraiser for Obama and currently works at the Chicago consulting firm SB&K.

"If he arrives, he'll suffer and will be forced to leave," warned Vicar Pablo Cedano, who told the AP the nomination showed "a lack of respect, of consideration, that they send us that kind of person as ambassador." Rev. Cristobal Cardozo, leader of the Dominican Evangelical Fraternity, said the appointment was offensive. "It's an insult to good Dominican customs," he said. "You can expect anything from the U.S.," added a similarly miffed Nicolas de Jesus Lopez, president of the Conference of the Dominican Episcopate.

At the time, Dominican officials declined to comment, telling the AP "It would be in bad taste for the state to comment on this nomination." But the country's embassy in Washington tells The Cable that Brewster has been accepted and his sexuality is no big deal.

"We can confirm that Mr. Brewster has already been accepted by the Dominican Republic as the next United States Ambassador to the country," reads a statement from the embassy. In fact, the embassy says officials accepted the pick from the get-go even though the government previously declined to defend Brewster. "Indeed, the standard procedure is for a Government to grant the agreement for a proposed Ambassadorship before the nominating country announces its decision."

The embassy added that it represents a tolerant government and looks forward to working with Brewster. "The Dominican Republic is a democracy with a vibrant media and a wide diversity of opinions on every conceivable topic," the statement read. "However, it is the position of the Government of the Dominican Republic that a person´s sexual preference is strictly a personal matter and it looks forward to working constructively with Mr. Brewster in his official capacity once his nomination is approved by the US Senate."