United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan Monday named Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, as his Special Representative for Iraq.
Qazi's predecessor, Sergio Vieira de Mello, was among 22 people killed when Iraqi rebels attacked the UN offices in Baghdad on August 19, 2003.
A UN spokesperson said Qazi would be released from his current duties in "a week to two weeks" and would travel to New York for briefings "as a first step."
UN spokesperson Marie Okabe said Qazi's name had been drawn from "a short-list of three highly qualified persons" which also included former Thai foreign minister Surin Pitsuwan and India's former foreign secretary Salman Haidar.
Qazi's appointment as Ambassador to Washington in September of 2002 capped a long and distinguished career. Before that posting, he had been Pakistan's High Commissioner to India since 1997.
The 62-year old diplomat was Pakistan's Ambassador to China from 1994 to 1997. He also served as Ambassador to Russia (1991-1994), then-East Germany (1990-1991) and Syria (1986-1988). In addition, the new UN envoy held various diplomatic assignments in Copenhagen, Tokyo, Cairo, Tripoli and London.