Washington, Dec 14 (ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing her grief over the untimely demise of Richard C. Holbrooke, the Obama administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2009, said America has lost one of its fiercest champions and most dedicated public servants.
"Tonight America has lost one of its fiercest champions and most dedicated public servants. Richard Holbrooke served the country he loved for nearly half a century, representing the United States in far-flung war-zones and high-level peace talks, always with distinctive brilliance and unmatched determination. He was one of a kind-a true statesman-and that makes his passing all the more painful," said Clinton.
"From his early days in Vietnam to his historic role bringing peace to the Balkans to his last mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard helped shape our history, manage our perilous present, and secure our future. He was the consummate diplomat, able to stare down dictators and stand up for America's interests and values even under the most difficult circumstances," she added.
Hillary Clinton further said Holbrooke served at every level of the Foreign Service and beyond, helping mentor generations of talented officers and future ambassadors.
"Few people have ever left a larger mark on the State Department or our country. From Southeast Asia to post-Cold War Europe and around the globe, people have a better chance of a peaceful future because of Richard's lifetime of service," said Clinton.
"I had the privilege to know Richard for many years and to call him a friend, colleague and confidante. As Secretary of State, I have counted on his advice and relied on his leadership. This is a sad day for me, for the State Department and for the United States of America," she added.
Further expressing her condolences to Ambassador Holbrooke's family and friends, Clinton said: " True to form, Richard was a fighter to the end. His doctors marveled at his strength and his willpower, but to his friends, that was just Richard being Richard. I am grateful for the tireless efforts of all the medical staff, and to everyone who sat by his side or wished him well in these final days."
"Tonight my thoughts and prayers are with Richard's beloved wife Kati, his sons David and Anthony, his step-children Elizabeth and Chris Jennings, his daughter-in-law Sarah, and all of his countless friends and colleagues," she added.
Holbrooke breathed his last on Monday evening at the age of 69. (ANI)