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Diplomacy giant Holbrooke dies

Pak lost its best friend, say President, PM
World leaders pay tribute
WASHINGTON/ ISLAMABAD: Richard Holbrooke, the diplomat who brokered the accord that ended the war in Bosnia and served as US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, died on Monday night. Holbrooke, 69, whose government career spanned nearly five decades and ranged from junior diplomat in south Vietnam, to US ambassador to Germany and at the United Nations, died after surgery to repair a tear in his aorta.
He fell ill on Friday during a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and was taken to a hospital, where he underwent hours of extensive surgery to try to save his life.
“Michelle and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Richard Holbrooke, a true giant of American foreign policy who has made America stronger, safer, and more respected,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. A relentless negotiator who earned a reputation as a “bulldozer” in brokering the 1995 Dayton Accords that concluded the Bosnian war, Holbrooke was once called “Washington’s favorite last-ditch diplomat” by Time magazine. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize seven times, Holbrooke joined Obama’s administration in January 2009 as special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, dealing with two of Washington’s most vexing foreign policy challenges.
Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday paid glowing tribute to Richard Holbrooke, calling the late US special envoy to the region a “friend of Pakistan”. Describing Holbrooke’s death as “a great loss” both leaders said in their separate statements, “Pakistan has been deprived of a best friend”
“Pakistan has lost a friend. He was an accomplished and experienced diplomat, who quickly gained the confidence of his interlocutors.”Agencies added: European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton praised the late veteran US diplomat Richard Holbrooke as a champion of peace who played an historic role in ending war in the Balkans. “Ambassador Richard Holbrooke was a remarkable man, a true diplomat and a champion of peace and reconciliation, not just in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but throughout the world in nearly half a century of service to his country and the international community,” Ashton said. -Agencies


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