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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid