U.S. Senate committee approves nomination of new Afghan commander

08:28, June 30, 2010      

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key U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday approved Gen. David Petraeus' nomination to be the new commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and a full Senate vote is expected later this week.

Democratic Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said after a confirmation hearing that the panel voted in favor of Petraeus to lead the Afghanistan war.

Petraeus, currently commander of U.S. Central Command, was tapped by President Barack Obama last week to succeed the loose- lip Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was ousted after making contemptuous remarks of senior administration officials.

The panel's approval cleared the way for a full Senate vote expected later this week.

Petraeus, who enjoys a good reputation for his leadership in Iraq war, was believed to be Obama's best choice to take over the command in Afghanistan, and is expected to get a quick pass through the Senate.

During the hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday, Petraeus restated his support for starting withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan in July 2011, a major part of Obama's new Afghan strategy outlined in December, while emphasized that it would be based on security conditions on the ground.

He also urged Congress to pass a war funding bill that has been stalled in the House.

"It will require that our work in Afghanistan is fully resourced" in order to enable progress in the war-torn country and implement Obama's Afghan strategy, said the general.

Source: Xinhua


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