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New U.S. ambassador to Iraq presents diplomatic credentials

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • James F. Jeffrey previously filled other posts in Iraq
  • He had been ambassador to Turkey
  • His predecessor is headed to academia

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- The new U.S. ambassador to Iraq presented his diplomatic credentials to top Iraqi officials hours after arriving in the country Wednesday.

James F. Jeffrey met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari in a ceremony in Baghdad, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in the Iraqi capital.

"I was delighted today to meet President Talabani and to present my diplomatic credentials," said Jeffrey, whose appointment was confirmed by the U.S. Senate August 5. "It is a great honor for me to return to Iraq. I look forward to renewing old friendships, strengthening our ties with Iraqi leaders, and deepening our civilian engagement for the long term throughout this historic land."

Jeffrey had been charge d'affaires to Iraq from March to June 2005 and deputy chief of mission in Baghdad from June 2004 to March 2005.

Before his appointment, he was ambassador to Turkey. He has also served as the top envoy to Albania.

Jeffrey replaces Christopher Hill, who will become dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver -- which was founded in 1964 by the father of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.