US Senate confirms ambassador to Egypt for State Department post

The US Senate voted by anoverwhelming 78-16 on Monday to confirm Anne Patterson, the USambassador to Egypt and a former ambassador to Pakistan, asassistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs.

Patterson became a focus of criticism of US policy inEgypt last summer during demonstrations after the militarydeposed the country's Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi.

Patterson had said street demonstrations were not the way tobring about change, which some Egyptians interpreted as backingfor Mursi and ridiculed her in prominent signs posted aroundCairo.

US officials said then that a full reading of Patterson'sremarks made clear she was not taking sides in Egyptianpolitics.

Senate Democrats have been trying to have as many nomineesconfirmed as possible before Congress ends its work for the yearand heads home for the holidays, likely later this week.
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