Marc Grossman to be US special envoy to Af-Pak

Written by: Pti
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Washington, Feb 15 (PTI) Marc Grossman, former USUnder Secretary of State for Political Affairs, is expected toreplace the late Richard Holbrooke as Obama Administration'' sspecial representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The post has been vacant since Richard Holbrooke, 68,who was the Special US Representative for Pakistan andAfghanistan for two years, died suddenly last December.

An announcement in this regard is expected to be madeby the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday in NewYork where she would deliver the First Richard HolbrookeMemorial Lecture of the Asia Society, The Washington Postreported today.

Clinton met Grossman yesterday at the StateDepartment.

"Retired diplomat Marc Grossman is expected to takeover as the administration is facing a crucial year for itswar strategy in Afghanistan, where it plans to begin US troopwithdrawals this summer and to move toward a politicalsettlement including negotiations with the Taliban before theend of 2011," the daily said.

Grossman, who spent time at the US Embassy inIslamabad in late 70s, at present is the vice president of theCohen Group, headed by the former Defence Secretary WilliamCohen. The group has several clients with contracts in SouthAsia.

Groosman''s appointment as Obama Administration''s pointman for Afghanistan and Pakistan comes at a time when the UShas suspended high-level official contacts with Pakistan afterIslamabad refused to grant diplomatic immunity to an Americanofficial facing murder charges in the country.

During his nearly three-decade of service in the StateDepartment, Grossman served as assistant secretary of statefor Europe and ambassador to Turkey. He retired as the UnderSecretary of State for Political Affairs in 2005.

During the Carter Administration, Grossman served asDeputy Special Adviser to Carter and in several capacities forthe Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs.

His other overseas assignments include tours as apolitical officer at the US Mission to NATO and in Islamabad.

A career foreign service officer since 1976, Grossman has a BAfrom the University of California, Santa Barbara, and M.Sc. inInternational Relations from London School of Economics andPolitical Science. (more) PTI LKJ

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