Holbrooke to visit India, Pakistan, Afghanistan

February 5th, 2009 - 1:29 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Feb 4 (Xinhua) US special envoy Richard Holbrooke will visit Pakistan, Afghanistan and India after a security conference in Germany this week, the State Department said Wednesday. The envoy left for London Wednesday and will travel from the British capital to Germany’s Munich, where he is due to take part in the annual conference on international security policy, State Department Spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.

“Then from there he will head to Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, in that order,” said Wood, adding that Holbrooke told him “in essence this is an orientation trip”.

“He’s not carrying any messages to any of these governments from either the secretary or the president,” the spokesman said.

“He’s not going there to lecture, he’s going there to listen. And then he will report back to the secretary and the president,” he added.

Holbrooke, known well for his role in brokering the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995 to end the armed conflicts in Bosnia, was named by President Barack Obama Jan 22 as special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

As to the motivation for Holbrooke’s visit to India, Wood said: The Obama administration needs to hear from New Delhi’s understanding on the situation in Afghanistan.

“India is an important country in the region and has interest in Afghanistan. And he wants to hear from the Indian government in terms of how we can all better contribute to peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said the spokesman.

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