United States envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is stepping down, the State Department has announced, less than two months after the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover of the country, reported Al Jazeera.
Zalmay Khalilzad led the US dialogue with the Taliban. The Taliban took control in August after capturing the capital Kabul.
In a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Zalmay Khalilzad acknowledged that “the political arrangement between the Afghan government and the Taliban did not go forward as envisaged”, reports BBC.
“The reasons for this are too complex and I will share my thoughts in the coming days and weeks,” he wrote, saying he was stepping aside as the US entered the “new phase of our Afghanistan policy”.
He added that he was “saddened” for the Afghan people given the current outcome.
Khalilzad will be replaced by his deputy, Tom West, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Monday, noting that West will work closely with the US embassy, which is now based in Doha, on US interests in Afghanistan.