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Holbrook named as U.S. special envoy to Pakistan, Afghanistan
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08:19, January 23, 2009

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday announced that Richrad Holbrooke is named by President Barack Obama as special U.S. envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"Ambassador Holbrooke will coordinate across the entire government an effort to achieve United States' strategic goals in the region," said Hillary at the appointment ceremony, which participated by Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden.

"It has become clear that dealing with the situation in Afghanistan requires an integrated strategy that works with both Afghanistan and Pakistan as a whole, as well as engaging NATO and other key friends, allies, and those around the world who are interested in supporting these efforts," said Hillary.

"Nobody can say the war in Afghanistan has gone well," echoed Holbrooke to Hillary's remark, adding that the United States and its coalition troops "are fighting a very difficult struggle against a ruthless and determined enemy without any scruples at all."

"And across the border lurks the greater enemy still, the people who committed the atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001." said Holbrooke, adding that the situation in Pakistan is also "infinitely complex," referring to Pakistan's "turbulent, dangerous tribal areas."

President Obama has promised to increase military troops in Afghanistan to crash down militants of Taliban and al-Qaida. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has to coordinate with Islamabad on its anti-terror operation in the mountainous border region of Pakistan near Afghanistan.

Holbrooke, 68, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was well known for his role in brokering a peace agreement among the warring factions in Bosnia that led to the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, in 1995.

Holbrooke, nominated seven times for the Nobel Peace Prize, had been one of top foreign policy advisers to Hillary in the Democratic presidential nomination campaign. After Obama won the nomination, Holbrooke served as one of his advisers.

Source: Xinhua

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