Richard Holbrooke, US special envoy for Afghanistan
US OFFICIALS and world leaders today hailed Richard Holbrooke, US President Barack Obama’s special envoy for Afghanistan hailed, as a “warrior for peace” who died before completing his final mission.Obama paid tribute to Holbrooke, 69, who died yesterday, calling him “a true giant of American foreign policy who has made America stronger, safer, and more respected.“Tonight, there are millions of people around the world whose lives have been saved and enriched by his work,” Obama, who tapped Holbrooke as his special envoy in 2009, said in a statement.“He was a truly unique figure who will be remembered for his tireless diplomacy, love of country, and pursuit of peace.”"Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who announced Holbrooke’s death after the veteran diplomat fell ill on Friday and underwent surgery for a torn aorta, spoke of a “sad day” for her and for the US.“Tonight America has lost one of its fiercest champions and most dedicated public servants,” Clinton said.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”.Holbrooke was best known for forging the 1995 Dayton peace accords which ended the three-year war in Bosnia. His diplomatic career however stretched back to the dark days of the Vietnam war.Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari called Holbrooke a “friend of Pakistan” while British foreign secretary William Hague said he was “one of the best and the brightest of his generation”.In Kabul, President Hamid Karzai, who had clashed with Holbrooke over the years, described his death as “a loss for the American people”.
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