Top US envoy to Afghanistan resigns

Top US envoy to Afghanistan resigns
© Getty Images

The Biden administration’s top envoy to Afghanistan tendered his resignation Friday and is slated to be replaced by his deputy.

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is leaving his post less than two months after the U.S. wrapped up a chaotic evacuation from the country, capping 20 years of military involvement in Afghanistan.

CNN was the first to report Khalilzad’s resignation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Khalilzad, an Afghan American, served under two presidents as the Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation. He led discussions under the Trump administration with the Taliban that resulted in the Doha Agreement, which committed the U.S. to withdrawing troops by May 2021.

Khalilzad will be replaced by Tom West, who has recently participated in meetings with Taliban leaders and who accompanied CIA leaders on recent trips to Kabul, according to CNN.

“Thank you to Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for decades of tireless service to the United States. Pleased to welcome Thomas West to the role of Special Representative for Afghanistan,” Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenDemocrats calls on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Biden clarifies any Russian movement into Ukraine 'is an invasion' Blinken calls for 'global action' against Russia amid Ukraine tensions MORE said on Twitter Monday evening. 

A statement from the State Department does not specify when West will take over in his new role.

“Special Representative West, who served on then-Vice President BidenJoe BidenPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy  Vilsack accuses China of breaking commitments in Trump-era trade deal MORE’s national security team and on the National Security Council staff, will lead diplomatic efforts, advise the Secretary and Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and coordinate closely with the U.S. Embassy Kabul presence in Doha on America’s interests in Afghanistan,” the department said.

--Updated at 5:37 p.m.