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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
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 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 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. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
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