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Obama taps James Jeffrey for Iraq ambassador

world Updated: Jun 26, 2010 11:27 IST

AFP
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US President Barack Obama has nominated career diplomat James Jeffrey to replace Christopher Hill as his ambassador to Iraq at a critical juncture in the seven-year war, the White House said.

Jeffrey serves as the current US ambassador to Turkey, a NATO ally that has seen its usually warm ties with Washington frayed over a deadly Israeli raid on an aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip, its criticism of Israel and its opposition to US-backed sanctions on Iran.

"I am grateful that these experienced men and women have agreed to serve in my administration as we work to meet our nation's most pressing challenges," Obama on Friday said in a statement announcing several nominations.

"I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years."

Before being appointed to his post in Ankara, Jeffrey served as deputy national security advisor and assistant to the president at the White House under George W Bush's administration, according to his official bio.

His resume also includes several previous stints in Baghdad and across the Middle East, unlike Hill, best known for his high-profile post as the Bush administration's point man on North Korea's nuclear program.