Khalilzad Steps Down as Top US Envoy to Afghanistan

Kabul: Zalmay Khalilzad, the US peace envoy to Afghanistan, has stepped down, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Monday, Tolo news reported

US Secretary Blinken tweeted: “Thank you to Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for decades of tireless service to the United States. Pleased to welcome Thomas West to the role of Special Representative for Afghanistan.”

Khalilzad’s resignation letter to US Secretary Antony Blinken was shared with TOLOnews. In the letter, Khalilzad writes:

“Today, our forces are out, the war is finally over for the United States and the very high financial costs of this engagement can now be directed to other vital needs. However, the political arrangement between the Afghan government and the Taliban did not go forward as envisaged. The reasons for this are too complex and I will share my thoughts in the coming days and weeks, after leaving government service.”

The move comes two months after a hasty evacuation by US forces from Afghanistan.

Khalilzad wrote: “I am of course saddened on behalf of the Afghan people that, despite our best efforts and extensive shuttle diplomacy on my part and that of the team as well as much urging from the international community, the Afghans failed to make use of this opportunity to end their 40-year conflict in a constructive spirit and with a fair compromise.” (Tolo news)

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