Report: US envoy to Syria to retire

The U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, is preparing to leave the State Department, Reuters reports.

Ford was recalled from Syria in 2011 after receiving death threats following his meetings with opposition figures. Since then he has been the Obama administration's key point of contact with the moderate opposition, helping to organize the first face-to-face peace talks between the regime of Bashar Assad and the opposition last month.

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Ford was Secretary of State John Kerry's choice to be ambassador to Egypt. His support for the anti-Assad rebels and his close links to the Persian Gulf countries supporting them have made him persona non grata with Egypt's new military rulers, who deposed Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood government last year. He is expected to end his diplomatic career instead.

Ford's departure comes just as the architect of President Obama's troubled “reset” with Russia, Michael McFaul, has also announced his retirement. 

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