US will require diplomats to serve in Iraq

October 27, 2007 01:01

The US State Department said Friday it will have to require diplomats to serve in Iraq because of a lack of volunteers for postings at the US Embassy in Baghdad. Beginning Monday, between 200 to 300 diplomats will be notified that they have been identified as "prime candidates" to fill between 40 and 50 vacancies that will open next year at the Baghdad embassy, said Harry Thomas, director general of the US Foreign Service. Those notified will have 10 days to respond, during which they must decide whether to accept the one-year posting or turn it down. Only those with compelling reasons, such as a medical condition, will be excused from duty, Thomas said. He stressed that it was hoped that incentives including extra pay and vacation time would be enough to persuade some of those notified to take the positions.

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