By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 19 June 2013:
Nine months after the Benghazi murder of US ambassador Chris Stevens and three colleagues in the assault on the American consulate, the new US ambassador Deborah Kay Jones arrived in Tripoli today.
She had earlier told US senators that one of her key tasks would be to ensure that there was sufficient security at US facilities here. Describing the ambassador’s role as that of the principal security officer, she said that she would have no hesitation in alerting Washington if she felt that security were in any way inadequate.
Jones is a career diplomat who joined the US Department of State in 1982. She speaks Arabic, having studied it at 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. Before that she served two years as the State Department’s 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 Centre 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.