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New US Ambassador to Iraq Arrives in Baghdad

BAGHDAD – Washington’s new ambassador to Iraq arrived in Baghdad and was sworn into his new position on Thursday after President Obama’s original pick for the job had to withdraw his candidacy.

Veteran diplomat Stephen Beecroft was confirmed by the US Senate on September 22, and is to present his credentials to Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and President Jalal Talabani “at the earliest opportunity”, a statement from the US embassy in Baghdad said.

Beecroft will head Washington’s largest embassy in the world, amid challenges in US-Iraq ties over Baghdad’s warming relations with Shiite neighbour Iran.

He has served at the US embassy in Baghdad since July 2011, first as the deputy chief of mission and, from June, as the charge d’affaires.

Stephen Beecroft arrives for a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on his nomination to be ambassador to Iraq on Sept. 19.

Beecroft previously served as ambassador to Jordan from 2008-2011, and has held positions at US embassies in Saudi Arabia and Syria.

In mid-June, Obama’s original choice Brett McGurk withdrew his candidacy after the revelation of racy emails sent in 2008 between McGurk, then stationed in Baghdad, and Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon. The two are now married.

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Posted by on October 11, 2012. Filed under NY News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.