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Jon Huntsman quits as U.S. ambassador to Russia

By
Clyde Hughes
Jon Huntsman Jr. testifies in the Senate on September 19, 2017, during a confirmation hearing to become U.S. ambassador to Russia. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Jon Huntsman Jr. testifies in the Senate on September 19, 2017, during a confirmation hearing to become U.S. ambassador to Russia. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. will resign from the diplomatic post -- perhaps to position himself for another run at the governorship of Utah.

Huntsman said in a letter to President Donald Trump Tuesday he's informed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo his family wants to return home to Utah, after serving as the top U.S. diplomatic liaison to Moscow. He will leave office Oct. 3, two years to the day he assumed the office.

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Huntsman said in his letter he is planning to run for governor of Utah, a position he held between 2005 and 2009. He left Utah to become President Barack Obama's ambassador to China. He's also been ambassador to Singapore and deputy U.S. trade representative.

"American citizenship is a privilege and I believe the most basic responsibility in return is service to country," Huntsman wrote in his letter. "To that end, I am honored by the trust you have placed in me as the United States ambassador to Russia during this historically difficult period in bilateral relations."

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Huntsman, who ran for president briefly in 2011, hailed the work of U.S. diplomats around the world and stressed the United States "must continue to hold Russia accountable when its behavior threatens us and our allies."

"While much of what divides us is irreconcilable, there are common interests we cannot ignore. No reset or restart is going to help, just a clear understanding of our interests and values -- and a practical framework for sustained dialogue. Through our diplomacy, we have worked to stabilize years of acrimony and incertitude with the hope of a better relationship. Failure is not an option, and the people on both sides deserve better."

Huntsman's brother, Paul Huntsman, is the owner and publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune and his daughter, Abby Huntsman, is a co-host of the ABC talk show The View.

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