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U.S. Envoy To Iraq To Represent America In The United Nations

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January 5, 2007

Washington, D.C. (AHN) - Zalmay Khalizad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq will soon be leaving his post in Iraq, to replace John Bolton as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a senior administration official said Thursday. The changes come as U.S. President George W. Bush is preparing to make a number of senior appointments as part of his new strategy for the Iraq war.

If nominated, Khalilzad, a native Afghan who has also served as the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, would be the first Muslim to serve at the cabinet-level rank.

In his place Ryan Crocker, a veteran American diplomat, will be sent to Baghdad, the official told the AP on condition of anonymity.

The appointments are the part of President Bush's major reshuffling plan as he seeks to bring in fresh faces to carry out his planned change of direction for the Iraq war.

On Thursday, government officials indicated that John Negroponte, director of national intelligence, will become the No. 2 official at the State Department and will be replaced by retired Vice Adm. Michael McConnell.

President Bush is also expected to name Admiral William Fallon to replace General John Abizaid as the head of the U.S. central command overseeing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and Lieutenant-General David Petraeus as the top ground commander in Iraq, replacing General George Casey.

President Bush is expected to announce a new U.S. policy for the Iraq war next week.

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