Pakistani president condoles death of U.S. special envoy

16:45, December 14, 2010      

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Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari condoled the death of U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke, describing him as a friend of Pakistan and a personal friend of his slain wife Benazir Bhutto and himself, the president office said Tuesday.

Richard Holbrooke, 69, died Monday following a second round of surgery to treat a torn aorta.

"Pakistan has lost a friend. He was an accomplished and experienced diplomat who quickly gained the confidence of his interlocutors," said Zardari in a condolence message.

"He was a key player in international diplomacy to bring peace to Bosnia and in confronting militancy in our part of the world," the president said.

"The best tribute to him is to reiterate our resolve to root out extremism and usher in peace," he said.

"My thoughts are with his wife and family," said the president.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has also expressed condolences over the demise of the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Recalling his extensive engagement with Holbrooke in the last two years, the foreign minister said that the special representative played an important role in upgrading the Pakistan- U.S. Strategic Dialogue to the ministerial level and in expanding the scope of bilateral relations.

Source: Xinhua

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