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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid