US appoints veteran envoy for Afghan peace effort

September 04, 2018 - 7:36 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has named veteran diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad as a special adviser on seeking reconciliation in war-battered Afghanistan.

Pompeo made the announcement on Tuesday as Khalilzad joined him on a trip to Pakistan and India. Pompeo was speaking to reporters aboard his plane.

An Afghan native, Khalilzad was tapped by President George W. Bush to be his ambassador to Afghanistan after the overthrow of the Taliban following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He then served as ambassador to Iraq and the United Nations.

Khalilzad is the fourth such special envoy named in the past month, following Brian Hook, who will handle Iran, James Jeffrey, who will run Syria policy, and Stephen Biegun as special representative for North Korea.

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