Biden announces first slate of political ambassadors, including a position for Sully Sullenberger

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 (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Joe Biden has named his first slate of political ambassadors on Tuesday, including key posts for Mexico and Israel, at a time when he’s on his first abroad trip as president.

Former Colorado Senator Ken Salazar, who also previously served as President Obama’s Interior Secretary, was announced as ambassador to Mexico.

Then Tom Nides, the former deputy secretary of state, was named as the ambassador to Israel.

Mr Nides appointment comes mere days after Israel voted in a new government, ending former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year reign as head of the country. The ousting of Mr Netanyahu was a relief to Democrats, but Mr Nides and the Biden administration could face difficulties when managing relations with Iran, Palestine, and the Israeli government.

Other announcements on Tuesday include Cynthia Telles, who will serve as the ambassador to Costa Rica. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who was known for being the pilot who successfully landed a plane on New York’s Hudson River in 2009, will be the ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal.

Julianne Smith, who currently works as an adviser to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, was announced as the ambassador to NATO.

These appointments were largely expected and come as Mr Biden is travelling overseas with the message to global leaders that “America is back at the table.”

Mr Biden met with G7 leaders last week while visiting the United Kingdom and was expected to meet with Russian President Vladmir Putin on Wednesday – a highly anticipated meeting between the two leaders.

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