Zalmay Khalilzad (file photo) (AFP)
WASHINGTON, March 15, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- A U.S. Senate panel began considering today the nomination of Zalmay Khalilzad as Washington's ambassador to the United Nations.
Khalilzad told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that, if confirmed, his first priority would be increasing efforts to stabilize and strengthen Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon as immediate objectives in the transformation of the broader Middle East.
Khalilzad, who served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq and to Afghanistan before, said his other priorities would be working on achieving UN Security Council action on Iran's and North Korea's nuclear programs.
He also cited ending the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, strengthening the capability of the United Nations to undertake and manage peacekeeping operations effectively and promoting effective approaches to address climate and clean-energy objectives.