US diplomat Richard Holbrooke dies at 69

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WASHINGTON - Richard C. Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2009, died on Monday evening in Washington at the age of 69.

According to the New York Times, Holbrooke, who was a diplomatic troubleshooter in Asia, Europe and the Middle East and had worked for every Democratic President since the late 1960s, died at George Washington University Hospital in the wake of a 21-hour surgery to repair a torn aorta, after falling ill on Friday while at work at the State Department.

On Saturday, U.S. President Barack Obama described Holbrooke, as “a towering figure in American foreign policy” and said that he was praying for his recovery from aortic surgery.

In the recent past, Holbrooke wrestled with the complexity of Afghanistan and Pakistan and was concerned about how to bring stability to the region while fighting major insurgent groups like the Taliban and Al Qaeda, as well as coping with corrupt governments, the paper said.

The veteran diplomat was a former two-time Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador to Germany, and was a key player in the Dayton Peace accords, which brokered an end to the conflict in Bosnia.

Holbrooke was the chief architect of the 1995 Dayton peace accords, which ended the war in Bosnia, and had served as chief representative to the United Nations, a cabinet post, for 17 months from 1999 to 2001. (ANI)

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