- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 25, 2009

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - A former American diplomat who has served in East Timor, the former Yugoslavia and as a senior adviser to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee was appointed Wednesday to the No. 2 U.N. job in Afghanistan.

Peter Galbraith, now a senior fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington, replaces Christopher Alexander of Canada.

His political responsibilities as the U.N.’s deputy special representative will include electoral and parliamentary matters as well as issues related to peace and stability, security sector reform, and human rights, U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas said.

The U.N. spokeswoman was asked why the secretary-general had appointed an American to the No. 2 post in Afghanistan when the United States was fighting against a resurgent Taliban and al-Qaida militants in the country.

“He felt he was the best qualified,” Montas replied, stressing that he will represent the United Nations, not the United States, in his new job.

(This version CORRECTS Corrects spelling of Galbraith in graf 2)

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