US envoy to Afghanistan resigns in wake of chaotic withdrawal

Zalmay Khalilzad had been below stress because the collapse of the Afghan authorities and the Taliban’s takeover.

Top United States envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is stepping down, the State Department has introduced, lower than two months after the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover of the nation.

Khalilzad might be changed by his deputy, Tom West, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in an announcement on Monday, noting that West will work carefully with the US embassy, which is now based mostly in Doha, on US pursuits in Afghanistan.

“As Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad steps down from his role, I extend my gratitude for his decades of service to the American people,” Blinken’s assertion stated.

“I thank Ambassador Khalilzad for his service and welcome Special Representative West to the role.”

An individual aware of the matter informed the Reuters information company on situation of anonymity that Khalilzad submitted his resignation on Friday.

His departure follows his exclusion from the Biden administration’s first formal talks with the Taliban after the US pullout, which have been held in Doha earlier in October.

In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Khalilzad defended his document however acknowledged that he got here up brief and stated he wished to make method in the course of the “new phase of our Afghanistan policy”.

“The political arrangement between the Afghan government and the Taliban did not go forward as envisaged,” he was quoted by the AFP information company as saying.

“The reasons for this are too complex and I will share my thoughts in the coming day and weeks.”

‘Face of diplomatic failure’

Born in Afghanistan, Khalilzad had held the publish since 2018 and spearheaded the negotiations with the Taliban that led to the February 2020 settlement for the withdrawal of US forces this 12 months.

Despite his Republican affiliation, Khalilzad was saved in place when Biden defeated Donald Trump and determined to go forward with the withdrawal.

He then pressed the hardline armed group and the Western-backed authorities of former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to barter a political settlement to a long time of strife.

In mid-August, the federal government collapsed because the Taliban swept by the nation and marched unopposed into the capital, Kabul.

Khalilzad was left looking for the armed group’s help within the US evacuation of American residents and at-risk Afghans who labored for the US authorities.

Current and former US officers informed Reuters earlier that within the three years Khalilzad had been within the position, he grew to become the face of some of the vital US diplomatic failures in latest reminiscence.

US officers, who spoke on the situation of anonymity, stated the veteran American diplomat relinquished leverage to the armed group, constantly undermined the Afghan authorities, and had little curiosity in listening to completely different viewpoints inside the US authorities.

Speaking to Foreign Policy journal not too long ago, Khalilzad defended his document, saying that the Taliban fulfilled key elements of the February 2020 settlement, together with not attacking the departing US troops.

“I respect those who say we shouldn’t have negotiated with the Talibs without the government being there. But we don’t know how much more fighting would have taken for the Talibs to agree to that,” he stated.

But with no urge for food within the US for an additional surge of troops in its longest battle, “each year we were losing ground to the Talibs,” he stated.

“Time was not on our side.”