Khalilzad resigns as special Afghan envoy, replaced by Thomas West
Washington, Oct 19 (PTI) Zalmay Khalilzad, the Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation who brokered the peace deal between the United States and the Taliban, has stepped down and replaced by veteran American diplomat Thomas West, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said.
“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 said.
Thomas West, who previously served as the Deputy Special Representative, will be the Special Representative for Afghanistan, he said.
West, who earlier served on the Vice President’s national security team and 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.
In his resignation letter, according to Politico, Khalilzad said, “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.”
“Going forward, I plan to contribute to the discussion and debate about not only what happened but what should be done next,” he said according to Politico.