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US appoints new charge d'affaires to Libya

October 11, 2012 22:36 IST

The United States on Thursday appointed veteran diplomat Laurence Pope as the new charge d'affaires to Libya, following the murder of its envoy in September.

"Mr Pope's selection as charge d' Affairs emphasises the commitment of the US to the relationship between our two countries and to the people of Libya as they move forward in their transition to a democratic government," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

The US will continue to assist as Libya builds democratic institutions for the rule of law -- the goal that former US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens worked hard to achieve, Nuland said.

Stevens died in a terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi.

"Pope looks forward to working with the Libyan government and the Libyan people during this historic and challenging time, as we build strong economic, social, political, and educational bridges between our two people," she said.

Pope served as a Foreign Service Officer from 1969-2000, retiring at the rank of Minister Counselor, after having held a number of senior posts in the Department of State.

He was the Director for Northern Gulf Affairs (1987–1990), Associate Director for Counter-Terrorism (1991–1993), USAmbassador to Chad (1993–1996), and Political Advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of US Central Command (1997–2000).

In 2000, the then President Bill Clinton nominated him as the US ambassador to Kuwait. Pope retired from the US Foreign Service on October 2, 2000 after 31 years of service.

A graduate of Bowdoin College, Pope also had advanced studies at Princeton University and is a graduate of the US Department of State Senior Seminar and is a Senior Fellow at the Armed Forces Staff College.

He speaks Arabic and French.

Lalit K Jha
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