Pompeo noted that Khalilzad will lead U.S. efforts to support, facilitate, and participate in a peace process between government and the Taliban.
“There is no one better suited for this duty than an expert diplomat like ambassador Khalilzad, who was born and raised in Afghanistan, and has previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Nations,” Pompeo said in a memo to State Department Staff.
In the memo Pompeo said he was confident in Khalilzad’s ability to execute the mission.
“I am confident in Ambassador Khalilzad’s ability to execute this mission, and we are grateful for his willingness to step back into public service. As we welcome him back to the Department, let us rededicate ourselves to achieving a durable peace in Afghanistan that will ensure security for the American people. This goal is realistic. We have a team in place to accomplish it. Let’s get the job done,” said Pompeo in the memo.
In the meantime, the High Peace Council (HPC) has expressed optimism over the appointment of Zalmay Khalilzad as U.S. envoy for Afghanistan’s peace.
Many believe that Khalilzad’s appointment signals that the administration is serious about an Afghan peace process.
Khalilzad is a diplomatic veteran, having served as a U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations.
The 67-year-old Khalilzad, who is Afghan-born, served as a foreign policy adviser to multiple administrations and held several diplomatic posts under President George W. Bush’s administration.