The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that he has appointed former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad as his special adviser on Afghanistan affairs.
Khalilzad is an Afghan-American who has served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq and as U.N. ambassador during the administration of President George W. Bush. His job will be to try to bring the Afghan government and the Taliban to a reconciliation.
“Ambassador Khalilzad is going to join the State Department team to assist us in the reconciliation effort, so he will come on and be the State Department’s lead person for that purpose,” Pompeo told reporters ahead of his departure to Pakistan and India.
Pompeo added that Khalilzad would also accompany him and the U.S. delegation during the visit to Pakistan.
“We need Pakistan to seriously engage to help us get to the reconciliation we need in Afghanistan,” Pompeo said.
This comes as the Trump administration is making its efforts to revive the stalled peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban insurgent group.