Obama picks envoys for Pakistan, Afghanistan
WASHINGTON, July 18: US President Barack Obama has named veteran diplomat Richard Olson to be the next ambassador to Pakistan.
On Tuesday evening, he also nominated James Cunningham as the next US ambassador to Afghanistan.“I am grateful that these talented and dedicated men … have agreed to take on these important roles and devote their talents to serving the American people,” Mr Obama said in a statement announcing several new postings.
“I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years,” he added.
Mr Olson is a former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Mr Cunningham is the number two at the US embassy in Kabul.
Both men need confirmation by the US Senate. If confirmed, Mr Olson would succeed Cameron Munter and Mr Cunningham would replace Ryan Crocker.
Diplomatic observers in Washington noted that the new nominations to two of the most sensitive places on the globe came at a very crucial time and both would be required to play a key role in ensuring a smooth transition in Afghanistan.