President Barack Obama has nominated Daniel Rubinstein, envoy for Syria, as the next US ambassador to Tunisia, the White House said on Monday.
Rubinstein, who has deep knowledge of the Middle East, has spent more than a year as the State Department's representative to Syria. He is fluent in Arabic and previously served in Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Iraq.
His nomination comes as leaders from G7 industrialized nations said on Monday they believed a window of opportunity for a political deal in Syria
may be opening up with President Bashar Assad
facing pressure on the battleground.
While Group of Seven
sources said a breakthrough was not imminent, they said Assad looked increasingly on the defensive after setbacks for his army.
Rubinstein was recently in Moscow
to try to see whether a political deal could be forged on Syria
. The Syrian army
and allied militia have lost large areas of land in the past two months to insurgents, including the al-Qaida
-linked Nusra Front and Islamic State.