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Special US Envoy to Afghanistan, Pakistan Steps Down

  • VOA News

Marc Grossman (File)

Marc Grossman (File)

The U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan is stepping down.

The State Department says Marc Grossman will leave next month to return to private life, and will be replaced by his deputy, David Pearce.

Grossman came out of retirement to take the job early last year, following the sudden death of former envoy Richard Holbrooke.

His tenure has included tense relations between the United States and Pakistan over the issues of drone strikes on Pakistani soil, an American airstrike that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and the U.S. raid in Abbottabad that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Grossman has also worked to support Afghanistan's peace process and stressed the need for Pakistan to be a part of the reconciliation.

In a statement late Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thanked Grossman for his efforts to lead a diplomatic campaign that she says has led to a network of regional and international support for Afghanistan after 2014.

Prior to becoming the special envoy, Grossman was a veteran senior diplomat who served in Pakistan and was U.S. ambassador to Turkey. He retired in 2005 as undersecretary of state for political affairs, which is traditionally the highest post for a career foreign service officer.