US President Joe Biden has nominated James O’Brien for the post of Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, the White House reports.
James O’Brien is currently the Head of the Office of Sanctions Coordination, with the rank of Ambassador at the US State Department.
Previously, O’Brien served two US administrations as a special presidential envoy. He also served as a Senior Advisor to former Secretary Madeleine Albright, Principal Deputy Director of Policy Planning, and Presidential Envoy for the Balkans.
“Over the course of his career at the State Department, he has led a large and successful sanctions program and advised on a range of issues, including peace negotiations in Europe, scientific and environmental agreements, and initiatives to investigate and prosecute persons responsible for war crimes. O’Brien has also negotiated agreements protecting intellectual property rights for scientific cooperation with China, promoted environmentally sound international trade regulations for hazardous and recyclable materials, and worked to make public-private partnerships and corporate social responsibility an important element in American foreign policy,” the White House statement said.
Political analysts expect that O’Brien could accelerate the resolution of unresolved issues in the Western Balkans. He replaces Karen Donfried and will be superior to Gabriel Escobar, who is the US envoy for the Western Balkans.
He is best known in the Balkans because he participated in finding a solution to end the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and helped formulate the Dayton Agreement in 1995. O’Brien was also a member of the American administration during the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina in Rambouillet in 1999.
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