News / USA

Richard Holbrooke, US Diplomat, Dies in Washington

Richard Holbrooke, a longtime U.S. diplomat who wrote part of the Pentagon Papers, was the architect of the 1995 Bosnia peace plan and served as President Barack Obama's special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, has died (file photo – 17 Jan 2010)
Richard Holbrooke, a longtime U.S. diplomat who wrote part of the Pentagon Papers, was the architect of the 1995 Bosnia peace plan and served as President Barack Obama's special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, has died (file photo – 17 Jan 2010)

Multimedia

Audio
Marcus Harton

U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke died Monday at the age of 69 – following surgery for a ruptured aorta – while serving as special U.S. envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Holbrooke's government career began in 1962 with a foreign service assignment in Vietnam. He served under every Democratic president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama.

Mr. Obama praised Holbrooke at a State Department function Monday evening, just hours before he died.

"From a young foreign service officer in Vietnam to the architect of the accords that ended the slaughter in the Balkans, to advancing our regional efforts as our special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and countless crises and hot spots in between," said President Obama. "He is simply one of the giants of American foreign policy."

In perhaps his most celebrated achievement, Holbrooke brokered the Dayton peace accord in 1995, which ended the war in Bosnia.

"On paper we have peace," Holbrooke said. "To make it work is our next and greatest challenge."

VOA senior news analyst Gary Thomas discusses the legacy of Richard Holbrooke:

Haris Silajdzic, a member of Bosnia's three-member presidency, took part in the Dayton talks. On Tuesday, he praised Holbrooke's diplomatic skill.

"The world has lost a very able diplomat," said Silajdzic. "We need good people all over the world to prevent wars and to make peace. He was one of the best."

In recent years, Holbrooke had been serving as President Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. In that role, his plain-spoken, hard-charging style sometimes put him at odds with U.S. military leaders and foreign officials.

"The people who demand that the foreign troops leave Afghanistan before they talk about peace are actually asking for surrender. Let us not be naive about this," said Holbrooke.

Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Ahmad Zahir Faqiri said Holbrooke's death is cause for sorrow.

"We express our deep condolences to the government of the United States, to the people of the United States and to the family of the late Holbrooke," Faqiri said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement saying the U.S. has lost one of its fiercest and most dedicated public servants. Clinton said Holbrooke was one of a kind – a true statesman – which, she said, makes his passing all the more painful.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

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.
Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countriesi
X
December 16, 2014 2:14 PM
Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.
Video

Video Indonesian Province to Expand Sharia Law

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and a legal system based on Dutch civil law and Indonesian government regulations. But in a 2001 compromise with separatists, Aceh province in Sumatra island’s north was allowed to implement Sharia law. Since then, religious justice has become increasingly strict. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh.
Video

Video Some Russian Businesses Thrive in Poor Economy

Capital flight, the fall in oil prices and Western sanctions are pushing Russia's staggering economy into recession. But not companies are suffering. The ruble’s drop in value has benefited exporters as well as businesses targeting increasingly frugal customers. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

All About America

AppleAndroid