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October 2, 2010

Munter to assume charge as new US envoy next week


October 2, 2010

The new ambassador of the United States to Pakistan, Dr. Cameron Munter, will be reaching here to assume his assignment next week, as the final approval has reached the White House and after the authentication by US President Barrack Obama, he would be leaving for Islamabad.
In all probabilities, the president will put his signature on the document early next week. The US Senate has confirmed his appointment after extensive hearing. The incumbent US envoy Anne W Paterson has started her farewell meetings and she would be leaving for Washington upon the arrival of her successor.
Diplomatic sources told ‘The News’ here Thursday that more reshuffles in the US missions would be undertaken after the arrival of the new ambassador.
The US president nominated, Dr Cameron Munter in second week of September for the assignment. He is currently serving in Baghdad, as adviser for political and military affairs to US ambassador.
The US Senate has confirmed Munter’s appointment in a vote. Prior to his nomination, Munter worked with a number of countries. During his career, which began in 1986, he served at a number of positions, including the Deputy Chief of Mission at the American embassies in Prague and Warsaw.
From January to July 2006, Munter led the first provincial reconstruction team in Mosul, Iraq. Before taking up his current position in Iraq, he served as the US ambassador to Serbia from 2007 to 2009. In his most recent posting as political-military advisor in Iraq, Munter directed strategic planning and US civil-military coordination.
Besides his high-profile positions, Munter is well known for making strong statements. During his term, as the ambassador in Belgrade, he sent a direct message to the Serbian government warning against the recurrence of Serbian protesters’ attack on the US embassy in 2008.
In Washington, Munter served as Director for Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe at the National Security Council,

Executive Assistant to the Counsellor at the State Department, and Chief of Staff of the Nato Enlargement Ratification Office.
Munter’s appointment comes at a crucial time, as the Obama administration is considering a phased troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and some politicians have recommended reconciliation with Taliban. Over Munter’s three-year term in Pakistan, he is expected to play a key role in implementing American policy in the region, the source said.
The sources said that Munter’s appointment in Pakistan is seen as an indication of US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke’s grip on the US policy governing the two counties, as Munter had past associations with Holbrooke during his postings in Europe in the mid-nineties, when he was the head of the Europe desk in the State Department.

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