News / Asia

World Reacts to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke's Death

Late ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke talking to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Afghan Foreign Ministry after inauguration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul (file photo – 19 Nov 2009)
Late ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke talking to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Afghan Foreign Ministry after inauguration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul (file photo – 19 Nov 2009)

Multimedia

Audio
Lisa Bryant

U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke died Monday at the age of 69 after undergoing heart surgery.  The longtime diplomat's death drew reaction from around the world.

Words of praise showered from Islamabad to Brussels toward U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who died Monday in Washington.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saluted Holbrooke for pursuing a robust and determined diplomacy.

In Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari called him a friend. And in Brussels, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen saluted Holbrooke's vision and determination, while several European Union diplomats paid him tribute.

British State Minister for European Issues and NATO David Lidington saluted Holbrooke's role as chief architect of the 1995 Dayton peace agreement, which ended the war in Bosnia.

"Richard Holbrooke's vigorous diplomacy helped to end the war," Lidington said. "He helped to save lives and bring peace to a part of our continent wracked by civil war and bitter conflict and all Europeans are in his debt."

Even former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, on trial for genocide charges, expressed sadness about Holbrooke's death.

For analysts like Anthony Dworkin of the European Council on Foreign Relations, the Dayton accord was perhaps Holbrooke's most important achievement.

"Holbrooke, I think, was really the one who led the shift to a more forceful and yet diplomatically effective response and his role in running the Dayton peace process was really a kind of exemplary importance in terms of bringing a settlement to the conflict," said Dworkin.

During his long career, Holbrooke left his footprint in almost every continent, working as a diplomat in Saigon during the Vietnam war, serving as ambassador to Germany, trying to resolve conflicts in Africa, and more recently serving as special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan during the Obama administration.

Analyst Dworkin says that along with praise, Holbrooke also earned criticism for his forceful style and for cutting deals that were sometimes seen as unsavory.

"He made enemies but he also got things done and in that sense he was a very effective negotiator," Dworkin added.

But Dworkin says the complex and protracted conflict in Afghanistan shows the limits of Holbrooke's methods. And he believes Holbrooke's forceful and energetic style, which he says characterized past U.S. diplomacy, may be less effective in today's changing, more multilateral world.

But international affairs director Robin Shepherd, of the London-based Henry Jackson Society, believes Holbrooke's sometimes abrasive brand of diplomacy will always be in demand.

"Of course nuance is important, but really there are a lot of dangerous and difficult people in the world to deal with and you do need some tough negotiators to bang heads together," Shepherd said.

Holbrooke, he says, was a person who could do that.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

ILO: Women Still Losing Out in Global Work Place

International Labor Organization says women are marginally better off now than they were 20 years ago 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.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More