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

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid