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Shaheen to lead European affairs subcommittee

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen announced Feb. 6, that she was named chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs for the 111th Congress.

The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, European Union, Russia, Turkey, Kosovo, all NATO operations in Afghanistan, and energy security issues.

"I'm honored that Chairman (John) Kerry and my colleagues have entrusted me with this responsibility," Shaheen said. "We are facing enormous international challenges. We are engaged in two wars, we suffer from weakened international alliances, and we must confront the global threat of climate change."

Shaheen said strong trans-Atlantic alliances and the ability to maintain a united front are critical to overcoming these challenges.

"I hope to lead this effort in my new post in the Foreign Relations Committee," she said.

The subcommittee's responsibilities include all matters within the geographic region relating to terrorism and non-proliferation; crime and illicit narcotics; U.S. foreign assistance programs, and the promotion of U.S. trade and exports.

Shaheen is also a member of both the Senate Foreign Relations and Energy committees, which she said would help her play a role in curbing the nation's dependence on foreign oil and attaining global energy security.

Shaheen takes over the chairmanship of the subcommittee from now-President Barack Obama.