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Trump nominating US envoy to Canada as next UN Ambassador

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets with Ambassador Kelly Craft, U.S. Ambassador to Canada, during a visit to Ottawa, Canada, Feb. 27, 2018. Gen. Dunford was in Ottawa for meetings with senior Canadian officials on the ongoing evolution of the North American Aerospace Defense Command. (U.S. Army Sgt. James K. McCann/Department of Defense)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he is nominating Washington’s current envoy to Canada, Kelly Craft, to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

“I am pleased to announce that Kelly Knight Craft, our current Ambassador to Canada, is being nominated to be United States Ambassador to the United Nations,” Trump wrote on Twitter on February 22.

“Kelly has done an outstanding job representing our Nation and I have no doubt that, under her leadership, our Country will be represented at the highest level. Congratulations to Kelly and her entire family!” he added.

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Reports a day earlier had suggested that Craft was emerging as the top candidate to take the UN post.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office on February 21 said that the influential lawmaker was backing Craft, a native of his state of Kentucky, for the post.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement said Craft “has been an outstanding advocate for America’s national security and economic interests in Canada,” adding that she is “extremely well-qualified to do the same at the United Nations.”

Craft is the wife of coal billionaire Joe Craft. Both supported Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 and are major donors to the Republican Party.

Craft in 2007 was appointed by President George W. Bush as an alternate delegate to the UN General Assembly.

If confirmed, she will succeed Nikki Haley, who resigned and left the post at the end of 2018.

Trump’s first pick to replace Haley, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, withdrew last week for what she said were family reasons. Democrats had complained that Nauert lacked international diplomatic policy experience.