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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid