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White House: Allen's NATO nomination to go ahead


08:02, January 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The White House on Wednesday said it would go ahead with the NATO nomination of John Allen, currently U.S. Commander in Afghanistan.

The announcement came after the Defense Department cleared Allen of misconduct. White House spokesman Jay Carney said during the regular press briefing that the Pentagon's "investigation of that matter is now complete and we welcome its finding. And therefore, we intend for the nomination to proceed," urging the Senate to consider it "in a timely matter."

Allen was suspected of having inappropriate correspondence with Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, who was involved in the scandal that prompted the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus.

During an investigation of Petraeus, the FBI uncovered messages between Allen and Kelley, who served as a liaison between the civilian society and U.S. Central Command in Tampa, which was commanded by Allen during the time of the exchange. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered a formal inquiry. The Pentagon's inspector general determined recently Allen had not violated military prohibitions against conduct unbecoming of an officer.

The investigation prompted the White House to place on hold Allen's nomination to become the supreme allied commander in Europe, the top military post of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Allen is scheduled to relinquish command in Afghanistan early next month.

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