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In March 2005, C. David Welch is an American diplomat who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs in the United States Department of State from 2005 through 2008. On August 14, 2008 in Tripoli, Welch signed the U.S.-Libya Comprehensive Claims Settlement Agreement paving the way for the restoration of full diplomatic and commercial relations between the two countries after a 25-year break.

David Welch was born in Munich in 1953 to U.S. foreign service parents, and lived with them in Germany, Brazil, Morocco, Ecuador and Mexico. He studied at the London School of Economics (1973-4), and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University (1975). Welch holds a graduate degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University. He speaks Spanish and Arabic.

From 1977 to 1979, David Welch served in the Office of the Under Secretary for Security Assistance, Science and Technology. He was appointed political officer at the U.S. embassy in Islamabad (1979-81) and returned to the State Department where he was desk officer for Syria (1981) and Lebanon (1982-3).

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