Top U.S. envoy to Afghanistan expected to step down

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Oct 18 (Reuters) – Zalmay Khalilzad, the highest U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, is expected to step down, two sources acquainted with the state of affairs stated on Monday.

Khalilzad will “transition” out of his position and get replaced by his deputy, Tom West, lower than two months after the United States withdrew from Afghanistan, the sources stated.

CNN first reported Khalilzad’s plans. Khalilzad didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

He had for years spearheaded U.S. dialogue with the Taliban, and was a key determine in peace talks with the group.

In mid-August, the U.S.-backed Afghan authorities collapsed because the Taliban swept by way of the nation at lightning velocity and marched into the capital, Kabul, unopposed. Khalilzad was left looking for the militant group’s assist in a chaotic U.S. evacuation from Kabul.

Current and former U.S. officers advised Reuters earlier that within the three years Khalilzad had been within the position, he turned the face of one of many largest U.S. diplomatic failures in current reminiscence.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Humeyra Pamuk in Washington; extra reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad listens to a video question from U.S. Representative Susan Wild (D-PA) as he testifies about the potential withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan at a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. May 18, 2021.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst