U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has appointed retired diplomat Marc Grossman to replace Richard Holbrooke, the special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan who died in December, according to state department officials.
Clinton is expected to announce the appointment later this week, according to three officials who spoke yesterday on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to comment on the matter.
Grossman retired from the State Department in 2005 after serving as ambassador to Turkey, assistant secretary for European affairs and under secretary of State for political affairs. He is currently a vice president at the Cohen Group, a consulting firm founded by former Defense Secretary William Cohen that helps companies do business overseas.
Grossman will be moving into the position at a time when the U.S. and Pakistan are in a standoff over the detention of an American who killed two Pakistanis. The U.S. is insisting he is a diplomat and therefore deserves immunity.
In Afghanistan, U.S. troops are preparing to start a gradual withdrawal later this year. State Department staff will help manage the transition in which Afghan forces are supposed to assume a greater role in security operations in their country.
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