Key Obama aide Holbrooke critical after aorta surgery

Washington, Dec.11. (ANI): U.S.President Barack Obama's Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard C. Holbrooke, was said to be in critical condition on Saturday after undergoing aortic surgery at the George Washington University Hospital here.

A medical bulletin issued by hospital staff said that doctors had performed surgery on Holbrooke to repair a tear in an artery.

The U.S. State Department said: "This morning, doctors completed surgery to repair a tear in his aorta. He is in critical condition and has been joined by his family."

The veteran diplomat was admitted to George Washington University Hospital Friday after falling ill while at work at the State Department.

The Obama Administration's top aide for the region had undergone evaluations at the hospital Friday.

Holbrooke, 69, was entrusted with the task to lead American diplomatic efforts in the region in the early days of the Obama Administration and has since been traveling to the two countries and engaging with the top Pakistani and Afghan officials since.

He has also undertook travels to several European and Asian countries as part of efforts to coordinate the U.S. policy in the region.

The diplomat is 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. (ANI)

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