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Veteran diplomat awaits Senate confirmation to Libya post

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By McClatchy Newspapers
Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 7:12 p.m.

WASHINGTON — A veteran diplomat who has served in Syria, Kuwait and Turkey will return to the Middle East as the new U.S. ambassador to Libya, President Obama announced on Wednesday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Deborah K. Jones will fill a post that has been vacant since the previous envoy, Ambassador Christopher Stevens, died along with three other Americans in the Sept. 11 militant attacks on U.S. facilities in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

Jones' nomination coincided with the first official visit to Washington by Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who said that Libyan authorities remain committed to investigating and bringing to justice the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 Benghazi attacks. The embassy Jones would lead is in the capital, Tripoli; there has been no U.S. diplomatic presence in Benghazi since the deadly assault on the consulate and a nearby CIA station.

Jones is a scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington. She joined the State Department in 1982, according to her online biography at the institute, and served as ambassador to Kuwait from 2008 to 2011.

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