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Bush Nominating New Ambassadors to the United Nations and Iraq

Khalilzad, now in Iraq, slated for U.N.; diplomat Crocker chosen for Baghdad

Washington -- The Bush administration announced its intention to nominate Zalmay Khalilzad, current U.S. ambassador to Iraq, to be its ambassador to the United Nations, and Ryan Crocker, ambassador to Pakistan, to succeed Khalilzad in Baghdad.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said January 8 that if the U.S. Senate confirms their nominations, “Ryan and Zal will have two of the hardest and most consequential jobs in the world,” and both enjoy the “utmost confidence” of President Bush and herself.

She said the personnel changes are designed to strengthen U.S. diplomacy.

Khalilzad also has served as ambassador to Afghanistan and has held other senior positions in the Bush administration.  Rice said international events and resolutions passed in 2006 have “shown how clearly important the U.N. is for America and the world and how important American leadership is to the U.N.”

In a State Department media note, Khalilzad said if the Senate approves his nomination, he hopes to continue efforts to reform the United Nations and “strengthen its ability to fulfill its mission.”  He also said he would advance an agenda with fellow U.N. representatives to promote common interests.

“[I seek] a world in which we take collective action against threats to security, in which freedom and democracy are expanding, in which the rule of law becomes more widespread, and in which all nations enjoy economic prosperity,” he said. 

Crocker, Bush’s nominee to serve as Khalilzad’s successor in Baghdad, is one of America’s “most distinguished Foreign Service officers,” Rice said, citing his four previous ambassadorships -- in Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria and Pakistan.

Rice said Crocker “is known and respected throughout our government, throughout the Middle East, and throughout the world.”

She said Crocker’s appointment is part of President Bush’s changes to the U.S. military and diplomatic efforts in Iraq.

“The next two years may well be the most significant ones in this mission so far.  New challenges on the ground call for changes to our strategy,” Rice said.

Crocker, in a State Department media note, said he previously had been assigned to Iraq in the late 1970s and had returned in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

“If confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to the critical challenges ahead.  It is a privilege to serve,” he said.

A transcript of Rice’s remarks is available on the State Department Web site. The full text of Bush’s statement on the nominations is available on the White House Web site.

Further biographical information on Crocker and Khalilzad is available, respectively, at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Web sites.

(USINFO is produced by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:


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