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US nominates first ambassador to Syria in five years

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The US government has asked Syria to approve its nomination for a new ambassador in Damascus.

There has not been a US ambassador to the country since Syria was implicated in the murder of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri five years ago.

The nominee is Robert Ford, a former ambassador to Algeria and most recently a deputy ambassador to Iraq.

The request marks a notable milestone in the re-establishment of official relations between the two countries.

Renewing ties

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem told journalists Syria had received the request from Washington and would consider it.

The process of renewing ties between the US and Syria began soon after Barack Obama took office as US president a year ago.

In September a Syrian official was invited to Washington for the first time in five years.

Mr Hariri, the father of current Prime Minister Saad Hariri, was assassinated by a truck bomb in February 2005.



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