Copyright: KATE BROOKS
Zalmay Khalilzad was made a special representative in the talks that the US had started for a political solution with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Now he has resigned from this post.
Zalmay Khalilzad had led US talks with the Taliban, but despite months of diplomatic talks, he failed to stop the group from seizing power in Afghanistan.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Khalilzad’s deputy, Thomas West, would now take over the post.
Zalmay Khalilzad also gave information about his resignation by tweeting. In which he wrote, “Today I resign as Special Representative of the Afghanistan Peace Accords. It is an honor to serve the American people again.”
“The US military has pulled out of Afghanistan and the war is over for the US, but this is not the final chapter. The Afghan people are facing huge challenges, including economy and security.”
“I am committed to the prospect of peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and this large region. This is what the people of Afghanistan have wanted for more than 40 years. America stands with them.”
“I welcome Tom West to the role of Special Representative for Afghanistan as the United States remains committed to leading the international community and Afghan leaders forward.”
“I thank the State Department, the Pentagon and all my colleagues in the intelligence community who have supported me on this mission.”
Who is Khalilzad?
70-year-old Khalilzad was born in Afghanistan and grew up in Kabul. He is a veteran American diplomat who served in his post during the tenure of former US Presidents George Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
His role in negotiations with the Taliban has been criticized. Critics say Khalilzad’s strategy did not work in the last three years, and the Taliban seized power on their own by overthrowing the elected government.
US President Joe Biden criticized the deal with the Taliban in 2020. It was expected that after Biden became president, he would be removed from the post of special envoy.
But Biden did not remove it. Khalilzad has been the US ambassador to Afghanistan and has worked in the region for 20 years.
He has blamed those before him for the 2020 deal. He had said that he was appointed in 2018 because what America wanted to achieve was not achieved.
Khalilzad had said in an interview, “I expected more but I have done what I could. I tried to sort things out according to the situation.
He led negotiations with the Taliban, which led to the signing of the so-called Doha Agreement in February last year and the date for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.