Pakistan attaches peace hopes to US AfPak special envoy
Updated: 2013-05-04 15:01
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has welcomed the appointment of new US Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan and hoped that the appointment would help joint efforts to establish peace, stability and prosperity in the region, Pakistani Foreign Ministry said Saturday.
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday named James Dobbins, a career diplomat, as the new special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"The Government of Pakistan welcomes the appointment of Ambassador James F. Dobbins, who enjoys the reputation of a seasoned US diplomat and is merited with vast and valuable experience in conflict resolution and management," the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said.
As the first special envoy for Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in December 2001, Dobbins will take up a post left vacant in December when Marc Grossman stepped down.
Secretary of State John Kerry said that he called leaders in Islamabad and Kabul on Friday to let them know former ambassador James Dobbins, a career diplomat who has served in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Haiti, will be the new special envoy.
As the first special envoy, Dobbins represented Washington at the Bonn Conference that helped establish a new Afghan government.
American and NATO troops have planned their exit from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 following a bloody and costly war that has entered its 12th year. Washington has been seeking a positive Pakistani role in this process and beyond.
A career foreign service officer, who turned 71 by the end of this month, Dobbins was special envoy for Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti and Somalia under the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He also served as assistant secretary of state for European affairs as well as special assistant to the president for the Western Hemisphere.
He is director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation, a think tank in Washington DC.
Kerry said, "This is a pivotal moment for both Afghanistan and Pakistan, with interconnected political, security and economic transitions already underway in Afghanistan, and Pakistani elections just days away, marking an important and historic democratic transition."