The US Senate voted by an
overwhelming 78-16 on Monday to confirm Anne Patterson, the US
ambassador to Egypt and a former ambassador to Pakistan, as
assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs.
Patterson became a focus of criticism of US policy in
Egypt last summer during demonstrations after the military
deposed the country's Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi.
Patterson had said street demonstrations were not the way to
bring about change, which some Egyptians interpreted as backing
for Mursi and ridiculed her in prominent signs posted around
US officials said then that a full reading of Patterson's
remarks made clear she was not taking sides in Egyptian
Senate Democrats have been trying to have as many nominees
confirmed as possible before Congress
ends its work for the year
and heads home for the holidays, likely later this week.