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McCain And Graham Oppose Obama's Iraq Ambassador

First Posted: 04/12/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:10 PM ET


Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) issued a joint press release late Thursday urging President Obama to reconsider his nomination of Christopher Hill as Ambassador to Iraq.

"The next ambassador should have experience in the Middle East and in working closely with the U.S. military in counterinsurgency or counterterrorism operations," say the senators, supporters of the president's plan for troop withdrawal from Iraq. "Mr. Hill has neither."

McCain and Graham also cite "the controversial legacy Mr. Hill left in his North Korea diplomacy" as reason for concern.

The Iraq ambassador spot had originally been offered to Retired Marine Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, a former top commander in the Mideast, but the administration changed its mind.

The Obama administration announced the appointment yesterday. Hill currently serves as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.