Trump seeks confirmation of new US ambassador to Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is asking the Senate to approve a new ambassador to Iraq as the U.S. ratchets up pressure on neighboring Iran and as some Republicans in Congress call for a stronger response to Tehran’s influence in Baghdad.

Trump on Thursday formally asked the Senate to confirm Matthew Tueller (TOO’-lehr), who has been U.S. ambassador to Yemen since 2014. If confirmed, he would replace Douglas Silliman, who has held the job since July 2016.

Tueller is fluent in Arabic. He also served as ambassador to Kuwait and has held top positions at U.S. embassies in Cairo, Baghdad and Riyadh. He is a former deputy director of the State Department office of Northern Gulf Affairs.

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