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McCain still has questions about Hill as Iraq envoy

WASHINGTON, March 17 (Reuters) - Senator John McCain still has questions about the Obama administration's choice of veteran diplomat Chris Hill to be U.S. ambassador to Iraq after meeting with him on Tuesday, McCain's office said.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee plans on March 25 to hold a hearing on Hill's nomination, amid suggestions by some Republican senators that he lacks sufficient Middle East experience and had mismanaged delicate negotiations with North Korea.

"Senator McCain and Ambassador Hill had a productive meeting but questions still remain," said McCain's spokeswoman, Brooke Buchanan, who did not describe the questions.

Senator Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, has also voiced misgivings about Hill, calling him "a poor choice" because he does not have extensive experience in the Arab world.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday defended Hill, saying he made "lemonade out of some pretty bad lemons" in talks to end North Korea's nuclear programs. (Reporting by Steve Holland, editing by Chris Wilson)

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