WASHINGTON: The US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson has been appointed as the new US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In a statement, the US State Department said that Richard Olson will succeed Dan Feldman whose tenure concluded on September 18.
Olson will assume his responsibilities as the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan on November 17
“As were his predecessors, Ambassador Olson will be responsible for developing and implementing policies and programs that support U.S. national security interests in promoting stability and increasing prosperity in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” the state department said.
Richard Olson served as the US Ambassador to Pakistan for the last three years. Prior to his experience in Islamabad, Olson served as the Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs at the US Embassy Kabul in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012, during which time he oversaw all US non-military assistance programs and support for the Afghan government.
“Ambassador Olson brings extraordinary experience in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as elsewhere, to his new position,” the statement said.
Olson also served as the US Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 2008 to 2011. He is a member of the Senior Foreign Service, and has served at the US Department of State since 1982.
The appointment of Olson comes as the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan are quite tense while the dialogue process between Taliban and the Afghan government is also struggling to re-start.
Having been well informed about Pakistan and Afghan issues, Olson’s appointment as the new US special envoy for the region will help accomplish the unfinished tasks and promote regional peace as well intergovernmental friendly relations.
Earlier on Thursday, the US President Barack Obama in a statement lauded Pakistan’s operations against terrorists and said that will be hosting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to the United States next week.
President Obama said that he will discuss the Afghan situation and host of other issues with the Pakistani premier.
Moreover, Obama said that the United States will continue to support Afghan reconciliation.