Holbrooke named envoy for Afghanistan, Pakistan (Lead)

January 23rd, 2009 - 3:42 am ICT by IANS  

TalibanWashington, Jan 23 (IANS) New Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday named former UN ambassador Richard Holbrooke as US’ special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was charged with soothing relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, whose border is a safe haven for the Taliban.

Holbrooke was the chief architect of the Dayton peace accords that ended the Bosnian conflict in the mid-1990s, a peace that has held to this day in the ethnically divided country.

In another high-profile appointment announced Thursday by Clinton at the State Department in the presence of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, former Democrat senate majority leader George Mitchell was named as Middle East envoy.

Mitchell will be charged with rebuilding the Middle East peace process in the wake of the three weeks of violence between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

During the Clinton administration, Mitchell was instrumental in the settlement of the Northern Ireland conflict and in 2000, he headed a commission that looked into the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

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