US religious freedom post still vacant after 6 months



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WASHINGTON (AP) — Six months after the resignation of Suzan Johnson Cook, the post of U.S. Ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom remains empty.

At the National Prayer Breakfast in February, President Barack Obama said he looked forward to nominating a replacement, but State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Thursday she had "no update" on when that might happen.

The post sat vacant for two years before Johnson Cook was confirmed.

But Harf rejected a suggestion that the lingering vacancy reflects a lack of concern for religious freedom around the world. She said other State Department officials are dealing with the issue "every single day."

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