Bulgarian to become U.N. Envoy in Middle East

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The U.N. Security Council has endorsed the appointment of Bulgarian diplomat Nikolay Mladenov as the new U.N. envoy in the Middle East, diplomats said Wednesday.

Mladenov, who served as the U.N. envoy in Iraq since 2013, will replace Dutch diplomat Robert Serry, who was appointed to the post in 2007.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the 15-member council that he intended to appoint 42-year-old Mladenov as his Middle East envoy and there were no objections raised, a U.N. diplomat said.

A former Bulgarian foreign and defense minister, Mladenov has led U.N. efforts in Iraq during the rise of the Islamic State group, one of the most tumultuous times in the country and the region as a whole.

His appointment comes as the United Nations is struggling to help revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and rebuild Gaza after war.

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