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President Bush to Nominate New Ambassadors to UN, Iraq


U.S. officials say President Bush plans to nominate current U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad to be his U.N. envoy and replace him with a veteran diplomat.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the plan Monday. She said Mr. Bush would nominate the ambassador to Pakistan, Ryan Crocker, to take the post in Baghdad.

Ms. Rice called the posts two of the hardest and most consequential jobs in the world.

The planned nominations are the latest in a larger reshuffle of Mr. Bush's military and diplomatic advisors ahead of his Wednesday address to the nation on his new strategy for the war in Iraq.

Media reports say Mr. Bush is expected to announce an increase of as many as 20,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

New Democratic leaders in Congress have already criticized the idea of a surge in forces, saying they do not believe that adding combat troops will contribute to success.

Both appointments must be confirmed by the Senate. If confirmed, Khalilzad would replace John Bolton.

Before taking the position in Iraq, Khalilzad served as ambassador to Afghanistan from November 2003 to June 2005. During that time, he also served as the special presidential envoy to Afghanistan.
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