Diplomatic Shuffles

An interesting diplomatic row.  

The US is shuffling embassy locations.  A Washington Post article proclaimed that Obama is shutting down the US embassy to the Vatican.  It cited a number of previous diplomats to the Vatican, chronicling their outrage at this turn of events.  While the article points out that the embassy is being relocated to the larger US embassy facilities to Italy, the headline certainly doesn’t give that impression.
Another site posted a story highlighting the relocation aspect and rejecting the idea that the embassy was being “closed”.  It also claims that plans for the move began under President Bush, when buildings adjacent to the US embassy to Italy were acquired.  However, it’s fuzzy what this means.  Were the buildings acquired under the Bush administration with the goal of relocating the embassy to the Vatican, or for some other purpose?
Things I’d like to know more about:  how many other countries include their Vatican embassies on the site of their embassies to Italy?  How long has the US maintained separate embassy facilities?  Why is the move being acted upon at this point in time?  Are there other considerations other than financial?  Is this just a bunch of headlines designed to sell papers/online advertising – or are there deeper considerations?  If it’s just a change of location, why are so many prior ambassadors – appointed under both Republican and Democratic administrations – seeing this as an affront?

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