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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 2, 2002
Statement by the Press Secretary
National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice announced today the appointment of Elliott Abrams as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and North African Affairs, including Arab/Israel relations and U.S. efforts to promote peace and security in the region.
Mr. Abrams has served since June 2001 as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights and International Operations. He was a member and then Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom from 1999 to 2001, and President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center from 1996 to 2001. Mr. Abrams served as an Assistant Secretary of State during the Reagan Administration, from 1981 to 1989.
Dr. Rice also announced today the appointment of Flynt Leverett as Senior Director for Middle East Initiatives at the National Security Council. In this role, he will have principal responsibility for Arab-Israeli issues in the NSC's directorate for Near East and North African Affairs, working under Elliott Abrams, who has been appointed to lead that directorate. Dr. Leverett, who holds a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University, is on detail from the CIA, where he was a senior Middle East analyst. He joined the NSC in February, after serving on the State Department's Policy Planning staff, and has been acting Senior Director for Middle East Affairs since July.
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