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Middle East ambassador musicial chairs


Egyptian supporters of Egypt’s former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hold his portraits as they watch him on a screen from the street in downtown Cairo on May 5, 2014, during his first television interview. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the frontrunner in a new presidential election, said on Monday that if he was elected the army will have no role in ruling the country. (AFP PHOTO/KHALED DESOUKI)

President Obama wants to move around his top diplomats in the Middle East, the White House announced Thursday night.

If confirmed by the Senate, Robert Beecroft, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, is headed to another high stakes post — the next U.S. ambassador to Egypt. To replace Beecroft, Obama has nominated Stuart Jones, who is currently serving as ambassador to Jordan. Both men are career Foreign Service officers.

Beecroft has served all over the Middle East — as ambassador in Jordan, as well as at posts in Saudi Arabia and Syria. He was also executive assistant to secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. Beecroft, who has been at the helm in Iraq since October 2012, would head to Egypt at a time of transition in the country. The United States hasn’t had someone there since August.

Jones, who worked in Iraq just several years ago, would return to that country at a time of renewed violence there. He’s also been a diplomat in Egypt, Turkey, El Salvador and Colombia.

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

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