Barely two days after he left Paris and his post as U.S. ambassador, Evan Galbraith ignited a new controversy Wednesday with a farewell interview in a prominent French newspaper that led the French government to summon the U.S. diplomat left in charge of the embassy for an official protest.
A spokesman for the French External Relations Ministry said that John Maresca, the U.S. charge d'affaires until Galbraith's successor arrives in a few days, was called in over "the unacceptable character of the remarks made by Galbraith . . . on the internal politics of France."
During his four-year stay as ambassador, Galbraith was called in three times to explain remarks that the French government regarded as interference in its internal politics. In one such instance in February, 1982, Galbraith was rebuked by then-Premier Pierre Mauroy after he said in a radio interview that a Communist is a "poor Frenchman gone astray."