Tuesday October 19, 2021

Zalmay Khalilzad Resigns as US Special Envoy For Afghanistan

WASHINGTON: Zalmay Khalilzad, the veteran US envoy whose months of patient hotel-ballroom diplomacy helped end the US war in Afghanistan but failed to prevent a Taliban takeover, resigned on Monday.

In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Khalilzad defended his record but acknowledged that he came up short and said he wanted to step aside during the “new phase of our Afghanistan policy.”

“The political arrangement between the Afghan government and the Taliban did not go forward as envisaged,” he wrote.

“The reasons for this are too complex and I will share my thoughts in the coming day and weeks.”

Born in Afghanistan, the dapper 70-year-old academic turned US diplomat took senior positions as part of the inner circle of former president George W. Bush, becoming the US ambassador to Kabul and then Baghdad and the United Nations.

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