WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify on Dec. 20 before the House of Representatives and Senate foreign affairs committees on a report on the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, the committees said on Wednesday.
The attack on Sept. 11 killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, and raised questions about the adequacy of security in far-flung posts.
Republicans have criticized Democratic President Barack Obama's administration for its flawed early public explanations of the attack.
They have also criticized shifting explanations of why talking points given to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice were changed to delete a reference to al Qaeda. Some Republicans have used that criticism to question Rice's suitability as a candidate to replace Clinton, if Obama were to nominate her.
Clinton has said she planned to retire from her post at State after Obama's first term.
An accountability review board convened by the State Department is expected to release a report on the Benghazi attack before Clinton testifies.
The board, led by veteran diplomat Thomas Pickering, is expected to consider whether enough attention was given to potential threats and how Washington responded to security requests from U.S. diplomats in Libya.
Democratic Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement: "We ask our diplomats and development personnel to operate in some of the most dangerous places on the planet. We owe it to them, and we owe it to the memory of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his three fellow Americans who lost their lives in Benghazi to get past the politics and focus on the substance of what happened and what it tells us about diplomatic security going forward."
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U.S. President Barack Obama
"The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. ... Make no mistake: We will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. ... We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence, none." (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
British Prime Minister David Cameron
"This senseless attack ended the lives of people who had worked selflessly alongside Libyans during their darkest days. ... We look to the new Libyan authorities to do all in their power, as they have pledged to do, to bring the killers to justice. Britain stands ready to assist Libya and the United States in that task. Above all, we will honor the memory of these dedicated people by continuing their work to help Libyans build a secure and free country." (AP Photo/Ben Stansall, Pool)
"The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan strongly condemns this inhuman and insulting action (the film) and shows its strong hatred against this action. Insulting the messenger of Islam is to insult the values of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. This insulting action will cause enmity and contrast between religions and cultures in the world and will be a strong punch to peace and harmony between humans."(AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud / Xinhua, Pool)
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry
"Such abominable actions, synchronized with commemoration of atrocious events like 9/11, provoke hatred, discord and enmity within societies and between peoples of various faiths. The event has deeply hurt the feelings of the people of Pakistan and the Muslims all over the world." (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)
The movie is an "immoral act that represents the highest levels of aggression against human rights that is represented by the respect of people's beliefs. ... The United Nations should issue laws that criminalize such acts similar to laws that criminalize anti-Semites." (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
"It is important that the new Libya continues to move toward a peaceful, secure and democratic future."(AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov, Pool)
Libyan interim President Mohammed el-Megarif
"We extend our apology to America, the American people and the whole world." (AP Photo)