The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Gabonese Republic has just completed the acquisition of the former home of Senator Ted Kennedy for $6.5 million, which is set to become the African country’s new US embassy.
The lavish Kalorama Heights residence boasts six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, five fireplaces, an indoor pool and a gym equipped kitted out in materials chosen by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, a nephew through marriage of legendary Senator, who died in August 2009.
Kennedy’s luxury mansion will serve the primary residence of the Gabonese ambassador to the United States, said the country’s Foreign Ministry in a statement.
"This investment by Gabonese government is in response to the need to replace the current Embassy of Gabon, which had been damaged by fire in 2003. The purchase is in line with the reform of diplomacy intended by President Ali Bongo," justifies the statement.
Libreville announced that this acquisition comes as part of a reform aimed at “modernizing the diplomatic services of Gabon."
Gabon wishes to “Redeploy its diplomatic efforts in order to accelerate the development of new strategic partnerships, particularly with countries that have strong economies", says the statement.
"The United States figures prominently in this new effort, as the symbolic state visit of President Ali Bongo to Washington DC in June 2011 and the bilateral meeting he had with President Barack Obama both show," the statement continued.
At the beginning of his term in 2010, Ali Bongo paid more than 100 million Euros for a new building in Paris. The property serves as a residence for Gabonese officials on official visits to France. It reduces the cost of hotels at the expense of the state, says the Gabonese foreign ministry.