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State Department work involves helping citizens abroad

State Department work boils down to helping Americans abroad and developing good relations with other countries, Jeff Austin told the Bellefontaine Rotary Club on Monday.



In between assignments, Mr. Austin, the son of local auto dealer Steve Austin, most recently worked with the Consulate General in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and was involved in economic, political and diplomacy issues.

He and his family soon will relocate in Riyahd, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

“The primary responsibility of the embassies and the staff is to take care of U.S. citizens,” he said.

That can mean issuing travel advisories, helping with lost passports, victims of robberies and even citizens who land in jail.

“Apparently, when Americans go abroad, they think the local laws don’t apply to them,” he joked. “So they end up in jail.”

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