US Ambassador to Bahrain Reportedly Used Racist Slurs Against Arabs
01:07 GMT 28.12.2021 (Updated: 04:02 GMT 28.12.2021)
On 18 December, the Senate, in a long-delayed session, approved a series of crucial executive and judicial nominations, including 40 high-ranking diplomats. Among them was Steven Bondy, approved for the position of US ambassador to Bahrain.
US Ambassador to Bahrain Steven Bondy has been accused of making “disparaging remarks about Arabs” and being disrespectful towards Arab personnel during his service in the UAE between 2017 and 2019, Politico reported
on Monday, citing anonymous sources and two of Bondy's former colleagues from the previous administration.
According to the report, the unprofessional attitude caught the attention of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan. One of the sources, a White House official during the Trump administration, purportedly asked Prince Mohammad about the ambassador and the former said that he is "not a fan of Bondy".
"We don't think he's a good person", he reportedly said. "He treats his people like garbage".
Other allegations came from retired US Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Correa, who worked as the Abu Dhabi Embassy's defence attaché in 2019. He was reportedly ousted by Bondy, who purportedly slandered him, saying that Correa was racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic. The accusations were said to be unsubstantiated by the agency watchdog.
Correa reportedly told Politico that he "would hear [Bondy] say disparaging remarks about Arabs all the time".
Similar remarks were made by former special energy representative to Saudi Arabia Victoria Coates, who worked out of the Abu Dhabi Embassy in the summer of 2020. According to her, she witnessed "an instance of [Bondy] being dismissive of Middle Eastern staff".
"It was stupid stuff like that where he didn't do his homework and was always offending them, and the rest of us looked bad because we were there trying to clean it up", a former US Embassy official said.
None of the accusations had been reported to the Senate, but were made public shortly before the final confirmation vote on Bondy's candidacy.
26 October 2021, 21:48 GMT
The US ambassador himself has denied all the allegations, saying that he has dedicated his "career to representing the United States and its interests in the Middle East".
"I have a deep and abiding respect for the peoples and cultures of the Middle East and harbor none of the prejudices attributed to me", he told the publication.
Representatives of the Department of State
also dismissed the rumours, with one high-ranking official reportedly saying that Politico
"allowed itself to be used to launder false allegations that other outlets and bipartisan Congressional staffers have deemed to lack merit and to be nothing more than the product of political, personal, and workplace animus".