U.S. diplomat Holbrooke remains in critical condition

17:33, December 13, 2010      

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U.S. special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke reacts during a news conference in Kabul in this October 27, 2010 file photograph. Veteran U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke was in critical condition after doctors completed surgery to repair a tear in his aorta on December 11, 2010, the U.S. State Department said in a statement. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke remained "in critical condition" on Sunday after an additional medical procedure, the State Department said.

"Today, Ambassador Holbrooke underwent an additional procedure to improve circulation following yesterday's surgery" at the George Washington University Hospital, where he is surrounded by his family, friends, colleagues and staff, the department said in a statement.

It said Holbrooke's wife Kati Marton on Sunday received calls from Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also spoke with Karzai.

"His family is grateful for the outpouring of support and prayers coming in from his many friends, colleagues and leaders around the world," the statement added.

Holbrooke, 69, was hospitalized on Friday morning after he was flushed and had chest pains during a meeting with Hillary Clinton. He was almost immediately underwent a surgery that lasted for n21 hours into Saturday morning. After the surgery, he plunged into "critical condition."

The veteran diplomat was appointed by President Barack Obama as his special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan on Jan. 22, 2009.

Obama on Saturday described him as "a towering figure in American foreign policy" and a critical member of his Afghanistan and Pakistan team.

At the age of 35, Holbrooke became the youngest person ever to hold the position of U.S. Assistant Secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He also had served as ambassador to Germany and assistant secretary of state for Europe in the Clinton administration.

Source: Xinhua

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