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Retired diplomat to serve as senior envoy in Libya

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By Reuters
Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

WASHINGTON — A veteran diplomat who retired more than a decade ago has been chosen to serve as America's senior envoy in Libya, the State Department said on Thursday.

Ambassador Christopher Stevens was slain in a Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi.

Laurence Pope, former U.S. ambassador to Chad and senior State Department counterterrorism official, has arrived in Tripoli to serve as “charge d'affairs,” the title given to a diplomat who represents a country in the absence of an ambassador, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

Stevens and three other Americans were killed during what the United States has called a terrorist attack on the American mission in Benghazi.

Pope's 31-year career as a foreign service officer, which ended with his retirement in 2000, included stints as political adviser to the commander of the military's Central Command, which covers much of the Middle East, and as the State Department's director for Northern Gulf Affairs. He speaks Arabic and French.

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