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Obama Picks Veteran Diplomat To Be Afghan Envoy

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, August 28, 2014.

U.S. President Barack Obama has selected a veteran diplomat with experience in Kabul to be the next U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.

The White House says Michael McKinley is Obama's pick to replace Ambassador James Cunningham, who has served since 2012.

McKinley is currently Cunningham's deputy at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

Before arriving in Afghanistan in 2013, he served as the U.S. ambassador to Colombia and to Peru.

His nomination, which will require Senate confirmation, comes amid a long-running dispute over the results of Afghanistan's presidential election.

Washington needs a new leader in place to sign an agreement with the U.S. to keep some forces in Afghanistan past the end of this year.

Based on reporting by AP