Final Word from Tuesday, September 23, 2003

When we wrote in June that U.S. Amb. Craig Stapleton would be leaving around the end of the year to help George Bush with his reelection campaign, the em-bassy responded with a flat denial. The embassy has now confirmed that Stapleton is leaving around the end of the year, to be replaced by another businessman, William Cabannis. Stapleton hasn't been the smoothest diplomat during his time here. He talks perhaps a little too openly about his departure plans and his relationship with Václav Klaus. But his businesslike candor has in fact made him one of the more effective U.S. ambassadors. Weston Stacey of the American Chamber of Commerce said that Stapleton's leadership has been crucial, for example, in driving bankruptcy reform. In this respect, the business community won't mind if Stapleton's replacement is also interested more in results than diplomacy. ambassador


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