WASHINGTON, May 24 (UPI) -- A husband and wife are giving up their respective ambassadorial posts to go to the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.
The husband and wife, Charlie Ries, the U.S. ambassador to Greece, and Marcie Berman Ries, the U.S. ambassador in Albania since October 2004, have accepted postings in Baghdad.
"Ambassador (Charlie) Ries will be leaving Athens this summer. He's been selected for a key job in the embassy in Baghdad, where he'll be working on economic issues. We're glad experienced diplomats like the ambassador can play important roles in working with Iraq's democratic government," said Karl Duckworth, a State Department spokesman.
Ries has been the top U.S. diplomat in Athens for more than two-and-a-half-years.
Berman Ries will go to Baghdad where she is expected to do political-military work.
"This is a change of assignment, not a short-term (assignment,)" a second State Department official said. "They'll not be going back" to their ambassadorial posts when their Baghdad tour is over.
The Pentagon has been agitating for more and better qualified personnel from other agencies to deploy to Iraq to help that country in its floundering political and economic efforts. A three-star Army general has taken the role of "war czar" on the National Security Council to, in part, ride herd on agency and department heads to provide personnel for the war effort.