UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Seretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the appointment of Nikolay Mladenov as the U.N.'s top Mideast envoy, succeeding Robert Serry who has held the job for more than seven years.
Mladenov, 42, is currently the top U.N. envoy in Iraq. He was Bulgaria's foreign minister from 2010 to 2013 and served in the European Parliament from 2007 to 2009.
U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Thursday that Mladenov "brings with him extensive experience in public service and international affairs." He said Ban is grateful for the "dedicated service and excellent leadership" of Serry, a veteran Dutch diplomat.
Mladenov will take over as the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Ban's personal representative to the Palestinian Authority, and his envoy to the so-called Quartet of Middle East mediators.