The outgoing US envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation has said the war is over for the United States but this is not the final chapter.
Zalmay Khalilzad made the comments in a statement posted online, confirming that he is stepping down as the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation.
“Today, I step down from my position as the Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation. It has been an honor to serve the American people again,” Khalilzad said.
“U.S. forces are out, and the war is over for the United States, but this is not the final chapter,” he said, adding that the Afghan people face great challenges ahead, including on the economy and security.
Furthermore, Khalilzad, he said remain committed to the possibility of peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and the wider region. “It is what the Afghan people have yearned for more than 40 years. The United States stands with them.”
He also added that he welcomes Tom West to the role of Special Representative for Afghanistan as the United States engages the international community and Afghan leaders on the way forward.
State Secretary, Anthony Blinken, on Monday announced that Khalilzad has stepped down as the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
“As Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad steps down from his role, I extend my gratitude for his decades of service to the American people,” Blinken said.
He also added “Special Representative West, who served on then-Vice President Biden’s national security team and on the National Security Council staff, will lead diplomatic efforts, advise the Secretary and Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and coordinate closely with the U.S. Embassy Kabul presence in Doha on America’s interests in Afghanistan.”