The US Senate on Tuesday approved veteran diplomat Christopher Hill as the next ambassador to Iraq, handing President Barack Obama his choice to help manage the planned withdrawal of US forces, dpa reported.
The Senate approved Hill's nomination by a 73-23 vote over objections from some Republicans that the veteran diplomat lacks sufficient experience in the Middle East.
Hill has been serving as assistant secretary of state for East Asia and has led US negotiations over North Korea's nuclear programme in the six-nation talks. He will replace Ryan Crocker.
Hill has previously served as ambassador to Macedonia, Poland and South Korea, and he was special envoy during the 1999 crisis in Kosovo. He was part of the US team that brokered peace in the Bosnian war of the 1990s.
Obama plans to begin the phased withdrawal of US forces, including the end of the us combat role by August 2010.