New US ambassador to Iraq arrives in Baghdad
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Washington's new ambassador to Iraq arrived in Baghdad and was sworn into his new position on Thursday, after United States President Barack Obama's original pick for the job had to withdraw his candidacy.
Veteran diplomat Stephen Beecroft was confirmed by the US Senate on Sept 22, and was to present his credentials to Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and President Jalal Talabani "at the earliest opportunity", a statement from the US embassy in Baghdad said.
Mr Beecroft will head Washington's largest embassy in the world, amid challenges in US-Iraq ties over Baghdad's warming relations with Shiite neighbour Iran.
He has been serving at the US embassy in Baghdad since July last year, first as the deputy chief of mission and, from June, as the charge d'affaires.