Daniel Rubinstein will be an outstanding successor to Ambassador Robert Ford as the U.S. Special Envoy for Syria.
This position is as important as it is challenging. Like Robert, Daniel is a Senior Foreign Service officer who speaks fluent Arabic and is widely respected in the region. It's more than fair to say that he is among our government's foremost experts on the Middle East and has served with distinction in some of our most challenging and high profile regional Missions, including Damascus. Wherever he's served -- from Jerusalem to Amman, from Baghdad to Tel Aviv, from Tunis, to the Sinai, and most recently back in Washington in the INR Bureau where I was reacquainted with him -- Daniel has excelled.
There's no denying the tough challenge that Syria represents for any diplomat. We're entering the fourth year of a bloody and brutal conflict that's wrecked havoc on the country, its people, and the region. Special Envoy Rubinstein's leadership and counsel will be vital as we redouble our efforts to support the moderate opposition, shore up our partners, counter the rise of extremism that threatens us all, and address the devastating humanitarian crisis and its impact on the neighboring states. Special Envoy Rubinstein will travel to the region later this month to begin consultations with Syrians and others seeking an end to the slaughter and a different kind of future.