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Obama to name former Sen. Hagel for defence secretary: Democratic aide

Published on Jan 6, 2013 11:07 PM
 
US President Barack Obama (left) meets with co-chairman of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)(R) in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington in this Oct 28, 2009, file photo. Mr Obama will nominate the former senator to be his defence secretary, a congressional Democratic aide said on Sunday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - United States (US) President Barack Obama will nominate former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to be his defence secretary, with an announcement possibly on Monday, a congressional Democratic aide said on Sunday.

The choice would likely set up a confirmation battle in the Senate over whether the former Nebraska senator strongly supports US ally Israel. Hagel has also been criticised for comments he made on sanctions on Iran for its nuclear programme.