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Pakistani chosen as U.N. Iraq envoy

United Nations

(CNN) -- The Pakistani ambassador to the United States has been chosen as the United Nations' top envoy for Iraq, U.N. officials said Monday.

Ashraf Jehangir Qazi's official title would be the U.N's special representative to Iraq, the title once held by Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was killed in the bombing of the United Nations' Baghdad headquarters August 19.

A U.N. official said the plan is for Qazi to be based in Baghdad, but only after security conditions are determined good enough. For the time being, U.N. operations for Iraq are based in Amman, Jordan.

The special representative will oversee U.N. activities in Iraq, which will include preparations for elections and for the selection of a National Assembly, development and reconstruction, and humanitarian activities.

Qazi has had a long diplomatic career. He has served as Pakistan's ambassador to the United States since September 2002. He was previously high commissioner of Pakistan to Indian, and ambassador to China, Russia, East Germany and Syria.

U.N. spokesman Marie Okabe said the world body expects Qazi to be released from his current post within two weeks, at which time he will go to U.N. headquarters in New York for briefings and consultations.

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