Syrian envoy

DAMASCUS: Washington has submitted to Damascus the name of its proposed new ambassador to Syria, the first since 2005, the country’s foreign minister said, in the latest step toward improving ties between the two nations. Washington withdrew its last ambassador to Damascus in 2005 following the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, which many blamed on Syria. Syria has denied involvement. Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told reporters that the “United States has nominated an ambassador” and “it is Syria’s right to study this nomination.” The standard practice for diplomatic envoys is to send the name of the nominee to the host government for approval before it is official submitted to the US Senate.