News / USA

    Envoy Post to Remain After Holbrooke's Death

    President Barack Obama is introduced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a holiday reception for international diplomats at the State Department in Washington, where they praised the work of the late Amb. Richard Holbrooke, Dec 13, 2010
    President Barack Obama is introduced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a holiday reception for international diplomats at the State Department in Washington, where they praised the work of the late Amb. Richard Holbrooke, Dec 13, 2010

    The State Department said Tuesday the post of U.S. envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan will be continued following the death of the job's first occupant, Richard Holbrooke. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed Holbrooke as an indispensable colleague.

    Obama administration officials describe Holbrooke, a 40-year diplomatic veteran, as virtually irreplaceable. They say the structure he built, though, as the first U.S. envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan will remain in place, and that the post he pioneered two years ago will remain.

    Holbrooke's deputy, senior diplomat Frank Ruggiero, has assumed the late envoy's duties on an acting basis, and took his place Tuesday at key White House meetings capping the Obama administration's soon-to-be-completed Afghan policy review.

    A senior State Department official told reporters  a replacement for Holbrooke will named in due course, and that Ruggiero, a former senior official in the department's bureau of political-military affairs, cannot be excluded as a possible successor.

    Tributes to Holbrooke continue to flow in from U.S. political figures and officials around the world. President Barack Obama called him a "unique figure" and a "true giant of American foreign policy."

    In her first public remarks Tuesday on Holbrooke's death, Clinton called him a valued friend, a trusted mentor and an indispensable colleague to generations of U.S. diplomats.

    "It has been remarkable to see the tributes coming in from around the world," said Clinton. "The word that keeps being said over and over again is 'statesman.' It's a word that we don't use much anymore. But Richard embodied it. A man who loved our country and dedicated his life to serving not only our people, but the cause of peace, a diplomat who used every tool in the toolbox and someone who accomplished so much on behalf of so many."

    Holbrooke  suffered a ruptured aorta during a meeting with Clinton last Friday and died late Monday at a hospital a few blocks from the State Department.

    The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Holbrooke's last words, to doctors preparing him for surgery late Friday, were that "you've got to stop this war in Afghanistan."

    State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley addressed the issue at a news briefing, saying Holbrooke's comments were part of a light-hearted exchange with doctors attending him as opposed to criticism of U.S. war policy.

    "At one point, the medical team said you've got to relax," said Crowley. "And Richard said: 'I can't relax, I'm worried about Afghanistan and Pakistan.' And then after some additional exchanges, the medical team finally said: 'We'll try to fix this challenge while you're undergoing surgery.' And he [Holbrooke] said: 'Yeah. See if you can take care of that, including ending the war.'"

    Crowley said his version of the exchange was reconstructed from accounts of several people present at Holbrooke's bedside, and reflected the late envoy's "singular focus"  on bringing U.S. efforts in the region to a successful conclusion.


    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora