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Nomination of Nuland as assistant secretary for Europe sent to Senate


By Lee Chi-dong

WASHINGTON, May 24 (Yonhap) -- The White House said Friday it has sent the nomination of Victoria Nuland as assistant secretary of state for Europe to the Senate for confirmation.

President Barack Obama on Thursday picked Nuland, former State Department spokeswoman, for the post amid controversy over her handling of last year's attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

A heated debate is expected in the Senate over whether she helped mislead Congress and the public about the Benghazi incident. Republicans have accused Nuland, a career diplomat, of having a role in the Obama administration's attempt to play down the involvement of terrorists shortly after the deadly attacks.

A Senate hearing date has not been set.

Nuland served as the State Department spokesperson for almost two years from 2011. She was recently replaced by Jen Psaki after John Kerry became secretary of state.

Standing at the podium for daily press briefings and dealing with a deluge of queries from U.S. and foreign media each day, Nuland is said to have done her job relatively smoothly except for the controversial handling of the Benghazi issue.

She served as the U.S. ambassador to NATO from 2005 to 2008.

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