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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 April, 2005, 21:31 GMT 22:31 UK
US unveils Afghan-born Iraq envoy
Zalmay Khalilzad
The US has named Zalmay Khalilzad as its next ambassador to Iraq.

Mr Khalilzad has spent the past 16 months in the same role in Afghanistan, where he has urged fighters still loyal to the Taleban to lay down their arms.

His appointment, which requires confirmation by the US Senate, was announced by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Mr Khalilzad was widely tipped to take the job after incumbent John Negroponte was appointed US intelligence director.

"I am pleased to announce the president's intention to nominate Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to be our next ambassador to Iraq," Ms Rice said.

Mr Khalilzad was born in Afghanistan and served as US special envoy to the country in the aftermath of the 2001 ousting of the Taleban regime.

He took a hard line on the remnants of the Taleban movement in Afghanistan, at one point criticising the government of Pakistan for not working hard enough to pursue militants.



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