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Obama may appoint ex-Senator as Middle East envoy

In one of his first major policy decisions after being sworn in as President, Barack Obama is likely to appoint former Democratic Senator George J Mitchell as his envoy for the conflict-ridden Middle East.

world Updated: Jan 21, 2009 08:51 IST

In one of his first major policy decisions after being sworn in as President, Barack Obama is likely to appoint former Democratic Senator George J Mitchell as his envoy for the conflict-ridden Middle East.

This could come as early as tomorrow, his first full working day as President, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

He is expected to meet his national security team to reassess the Iraq and Afghan situation and brainstorm on reshaping the US foreign policy, starting with the broad conflict zone from Israel to Pakistan, the report said.

Obama, who has been maintaining silence over the foreign policy issues after the November 4 presidential elections, arguing that there is only one President at a time, would move quickly on that front after he is enters the Oval office.

On Wednesday, the Post said, Obama will convene a meeting of his National Security Council to launch a reassessment of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Publicly, the president-elect has deferred to President (George W) Bush and has declined to comment on the recent fighting in the Gaza Strip and the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. But privately, he and his aides have been preparing to dramatically reshape the country's foreign policy, starting with the broad conflict zone from Israel to Pakistan," The Post said.

Setting the ball rolling, Obama is expected to head towards the Oval Office soon after he is sworn in and spend some time there with his aides at the White House before heading for a series of dinners and inaugural balls.