Washington The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Barack Obama’s choice to be the next U.S. ambassador to Iraq despite fierce opposition from conservatives who complained about the nominee’s diplomatic record.
Senators voted 73-23 to confirm career diplomat Christopher Hill as Washington’s new envoy to Baghdad over the strenuous objections of Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. Brownback had stalled the approval process for three weeks.
Brownback accused Hill, the Bush administration’s chief negotiator with North Korea, of ignoring North Korean human rights abuses and agreeing to a flawed disarmament pact with the regime.
But a majority of senators decided that Hill’s confirmation to the critical post should not be delayed any longer. Many argued that Hill, a 32-year veteran of the foreign service, is qualified to run the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, America’s largest overseas diplomatic mission.