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“One can be certain that the Washington delegation will not shrink,” he said.

The Parliament on Thursday endorsed the European External Action Service, which will include some 6,000 diplomats scattered around the world to represent the 27-nation European Union.

“Now that the Parliament has given its consent, we can start to put some meat on the skeleton,” he said.

A Portuguese diplomat, Joao Valle de Almeida, arrived in Washington on Wednesday to serve as head of the European Delegation, replacing John Bruton, a former Irish prime minster.

Meanwhile, Pierre Vimont, the French ambassador to the United States, is expected to be appointed executive secretary-general of the new European diplomatic service.

  • Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or e-mail jmorrison@washington