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Obama names US ambassadors to Afghanistan, Iraq

President Barack Obama is naming a career military officer who once was the top US commander in Afghanistan to be the next ambassador to the devastated country and tapped a veteran diplomat to be the new US envoy in Iraq.

world Updated: Mar 12, 2009 23:34 IST

President Barack Obama is naming a career military officer who once was the top US commander in Afghanistan to be the next ambassador to the devastated country and tapped a veteran diplomat to be the new US envoy in Iraq.

The White House said yesterday that Obama had nominated Lt Gen Karl W Eikenberry, who served in Afghanistan twice, including an 18-month tour that ended in 2007 as commanding general, to be ambassador in Kabul, and Christopher Hill, a seasoned negotiator who led the US team at nuclear disarmament talks during the Bush administration, to be ambassador in Baghdad.

He also named-Ivo Daalder, a former Clinton administration National Security Council official, to be ambassador to NATO.

Alexander Vershbow, a former ambassador to Russia and South Korea to be assistant secretary of defense for international security.

Richard Verma, a lawyer and former Senate aide, to head the State Department’s legal team.

“These extraordinarily accomplished individuals have served their country with great distinction and they have each agreed to take on tough assignments,” Obama said in a statement.

“I am confident that they will work with a sense of purpose and pragmatism... as we renew American diplomacy, strengthen our military and advance our values and interests around the world,” he said.