New US ambassador named

New . . .[restrict]US Ambassador to Libya Deborah K. Jones (Photo: US State Department)

Tripoli, 13 March 2103:

US President Barack Obama has nominated a new ambassador to Libya. She is career diplomat Deborah K. Jones. She is the first US ambassador since Chris Stevens was killed in Benghazi, along with three other diplomatic staff, on 11 September 2012. Since then the US embassy has been under temporary Chargés d’Affaires, first Laurence Pope and since the beginning of the year William Roebuck.

The announcement was made today by the White House before US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Prime Minister Ali Zeidan who is visiting the US at present.

The nomination has to be approved by the US Senate. The Libyan government has already approved it.

From New Mexico, Jones joined the US Department of State in 1982. She speaks Arabic, having studied it the Foreign Service Institute in Roslyn, Virginia, and at the State Department’s Field School in Tunisia. She also speaks French and Spanish.

She was US ambassador to Kuwait between 2008 and 2011. Earlier she served for two years as the State Departments’ Country Director of the Office of Arabian Peninsula and Iran Affairs. She then became Desk Officer for Jordan and worked in the State Department’s Operations Center and on its Board of Examiners until 2005. From August 2005 to 2007, she served as Principal Officer at the US Consulate-General in Istanbul. She has also worked in Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Baghdad, Damascus and Buenos Aires.

Welcoming the appointment, Chuck Dittrich, Executive Director of the US-Libya Business Association (USLBA) said: “Ambassador Deborah Jones is a very good choice as US Ambassador to Libya. As a successful Ambassador to Kuwait, as well as Deputy Chief of Mission in the United Arab Emirates and Consul General in Dubai and Istanbul, she has the depth and breadth of experience needed to guide this important bilateral relationship through a critical period.

“She will bring unique insight into the risks and great promise of the transition now occurring in Libya, and her nomination would signal the Obama Administration’s commitment to maintaining a high level of engagement with Libya.”

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