UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations confirmed on Monday that Jeffrey Feltman, until recently the top US diplomat for the Middle East, will soon take up a senior post at the United Nations.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Feltman would replace American Lynn Pascoe as UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, a key position at the world body. He will be the highest-ranking US official in the UN secretariat.

Feltman "brings to the position over 26 years of political and diplomatic experience within the United States Foreign Service, mostly handling Eastern European and Middle Eastern affairs," the UN press office said in a statement.

In his new position, Feltman will help to formulate UN policy in negotiations on the Middle East peace process and other conflicts and to oversee UN mediation efforts. Feltman is expected to take up the post this summer.

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