WASHINGTON - The Senate on Saturday confirmed US ambassadors to Pakistan and Iraq in one of its last actions before adjourning for a pre-election recess.
The Senate unanimously confirmed Rick Olson to be ambassador to Pakistan, where violent anti-American protests are taking place over a video made in the US that denigrated Islam.
The chamber also confirmed unanimously Robert Beecroft to be ambassador to Iraq. President Barack Obama nominated Beecroft after his original choice, Brett McGurk, withdrew his nomination in June after the disclosure of embarrassing personal e-mails.
AFP adds: Beecroft has served at the US embassy in Baghdad since July 2011, first as the deputy chief of mission and from June this year as the charge d’affaires.
Earlier he was US ambassador to Jordan 2008-2011, and has held positions at the American embassies in Saudi Arabia and Syria.
The appointment of Olson, a 30-year veteran of the State Department who was envoy to the United Arab Emirates between 2008 and 2011, meanwhile will aim to turn a page in diplomatic relations with Islamabad.
The outgoing American ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, resigned in May after a turbulent tenure in which a covert US forces raid killed Osama bin Laden near a major military academy, humiliating the country’s powerful army.
Until June Olson served in the US embassy in Kabul as the coordinator for development and economic affairs, a key priority for Washington as the United States prepares to withdraw its forces.