Zalmay Khalilzad had been beneath strain for the reason that collapse of the Afghan authorities and the Taliban’s takeover.
High United States envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is stepping down, the State Division has introduced, lower than two months after the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover of the nation.
Khalilzad shall 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 Particular Consultant for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad steps down from his position, I lengthen my gratitude for his many years of service to the American folks,” Blinken’s assertion stated.
“I thank Ambassador Khalilzad for his service and welcome Particular Consultant West to the position.”
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 had been held in Doha earlier in October.
In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Khalilzad defended his report however acknowledged that he got here up quick and stated he wished to make approach throughout the “new section of our Afghanistan coverage”.
“The political association between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban didn’t go ahead as envisaged,” he was quoted by the AFP information company as saying.
“The explanations for this are too complicated and I’ll share my ideas within 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.
Regardless of 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 many years of strife.
In mid-August, the federal government collapsed because the Taliban swept via the nation and marched unopposed into the capital, Kabul.
Identical Khalilzad who gave the Taliban so many concessions upfront, agreed to the discharge to 5000 TB prisoners within the absence of the previous Afghan authorities. “ Nothing is agreed till every thing is agreed.” was only a slogan. https://t.co/i4hjJHOsZm
— BILAL SARWARY (@bsarwary) October 18, 2021
Khalilzad was left searching for the armed group’s help within the US evacuation of Americans and at-risk Afghans who labored for the US authorities.
Present 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 one of the vital vital US diplomatic failures in current 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 throughout the US authorities.
Talking to International Coverage journal lately, Khalilzad defended his report, saying that the Taliban fulfilled key elements of the February 2020 settlement, together with not attacking the departing US troops.
“I respect those that say we shouldn’t have negotiated with the Talibs with out the federal government being there. However we don’t understand how way more combating would have taken for the Talibs to conform to that,” he stated.
However with no urge for food within the US for one more surge of troops in its longest struggle, “every year we had been shedding floor to the Talibs,” he stated.
“Time was not on our facet.”