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Former head of Harper’s security detail named new ambassador to Jordan

Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives at Rideau Hall in Ottawa Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008. The RCMP officer holding the door is Bruno Saccomani, named the next ambassador to Jordan.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Bruno Saccomani, the former head of Stephen Harper's security detail, was a demanding RCMP boss who drove an effort to beef up the Prime Minister's protection and drew close to Mr. Harper – but left some underlings complaining of poor treatment.

He will now become Canada's Ambassador to the Royal Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a small, complex country that many experts consider a lynchpin of Middle East stability. And Canada is beefing up its relations with Jordan, sending new aid to help the country deal with an influx of Syrian refugees.

Mr. Saccomani's appointment has been criticized by opposition politicians and former diplomats as a patronage posting for someone who has earned the Prime Minister's personal trust. But it has also baffled on several fronts.

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A posting to Amman is not considered particularly luxurious nor especially high-profile. Analyzing its internal politics, and its place in the complex Middle East, is not easy for observers.

Mr. Saccomani has served in a Canadian embassy before, but as an RCMP liaison in Rome and Bangkok, rather than a senior diplomat. And as a superintendent, he was a middle manager, a senior officer but not a top executive, in the RCMP.

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