US Afghan representative Zalmay Khalilzad quits; pays for pro-Taliban tilt | World News

Thomas West has been appointed as the brand new US particular representative to Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced in an announcement on Monday. This comes after Zalmay Khalilzad resigned from the publish following chaotic withdrawal of the American forces from Afghanistan.

“West, who served on then-Vice President Biden’s national security team and on the National Security Council staff, will lead diplomatic efforts, advise the Secretary and Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and coordinate closely with the US Embassy Kabul presence in Doha on America’s interests in Afghanistan,” Blinken mentioned in an announcement.

Blinken additionally thanked Khalilzad for his “decades of service”.

“As Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad steps down from his role, I extend my gratitude for his decades of service to the American people,” Blinken mentioned within the assertion.

Khalilzad was the one that led talks with the Taliban in Qatar that resulted within the Doha settlement between the Islamic group and former US President Donald Trump to completely withdraw US troops by May 2021.

But he has been criticised for not urgent the Taliban laborious sufficient throughout peace talks.

Current and former US officers instructed information company Reuters that within the three years Khalilzad has been within the position, he turned the face of one of many largest US diplomatic failures in latest reminiscence.

US officers, who spoke on the situation of anonymity, mentioned the veteran American diplomat relinquished leverage to the militant group, constantly undermined the Afghan authorities, and had little curiosity in listening to completely different viewpoints throughout the American authorities.

Some officers, lawmakers and overseas coverage consultants mentioned that he is among the few US diplomats to have relations with the Taliban and was merely following orders from each Trump and Joe Biden: Get all American troops out of Afghanistan.

Khalilzad has up to now declined to touch upon the document.

Born in Afghanistan, Khalilzad was a veteran of previous Republican administrations who helped President George W Bush plan the overthrow of the Taliban in 2002.

The United States, in the meantime, mentioned on Monday that it’ll not be part of talks on Afghanistan introduced for this Tuesday by Russia that may embrace two different key gamers, China and Pakistan. The state division blamed logistical points however mentioned it thought of the Russian-led discussion board “constructive.”

“We look forward to engaging in that forum going forward, but we’re not in a position to take part this week,” state division spokesman Ned Price instructed reporters.

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