The US Senate Foreign Relations committee will hold hearings next week on the renomination of John Bolton as ambassador to the UN, before his term expires at the end of the year, lawmakers said.

The hearing was made possible after Republican George Voinovich, who had firmly opposed Bolton’s nomination in last year’s tough hearings, announced his decision to support the candidacy.

"As the situation in the Middle East deteriorates by the day, we must let the terrorists know that the United States speaks with one voice," Voinovich said.

The hearings have been set for Thursday, and Bolton’s candidacy would go to a full Senate vote if recommended by the committee.

US President George W. Bush appointed Bolton during a congressional recess last August, amid stiff Democratic opposition to what were perceived to be Bolton’s hawkish foreign policy views and past hostility to the United Nations.

Joseph Biden, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations committee, said some hostility to Bolton remained, arguing that his performance at the United Nations justified a more cautious approach.

The Democrats have pressed the Bush administration to provide them with documents that shed more light on Bolton’s past.

Copyright © 2006 Agence France Presse.