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Mr. Warlick, who arrived in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia in January 2010, told journalists there is no truth to reports that he is being replaced by a female ambassador before his normal departure date sometime next year.

“Let me be completely clear,” he said. “There is still no decision on how long my stay here will be.”

He explained that American ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the U.S. president but added that he has received no word from the State Department of a reassignment.

A Bulgarian television station first reported the news on Wednesday, citing anonymous diplomatic sources.

Mr. Warlick, a career diplomat, has frequently drawn criticism for his advocacy of law and order in Bulgaria, a nation plagued with organized crime and judicial corruption.

Anti-immigrant politicians have denounced him for supporting the rights of minorities.

Last year, President Georgi Parvanov last year complained that Mr. Warlick was interfering in Bulgaria’s domestic affairs for appearing to mock a discussion between Mr. Parvanov and Defense Minister Anyu Angelov.

However, that dispute resulted from a mistranslation of Mr. Warlick’s remarks at a public policy forum.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.