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Khalilzad Tipped as New U.N. Undersecretary General
Muslim Afghan is currently U.S. ambassador to Iraq
Ajmal Shah Din (ajmal)     Print Article 
Published 2007-01-05 00:59 (KST)   
Zalmay Khalilzad, who is currently the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, is being tipped for a top U.N. appointment by the new Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

An Afghan and Muslim by birth, Khalilzad is being considered for the post of Undersecretary General for Political Affairs, one of the most powerful jobs in the U.N., that usually goes to a British diplomat, according to reliable sources in Washington and New York.

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Both the U.S. and Britain are currently competing for the post. So far many of Ban's appointments have been from the Third World. To give the Americans their slot in the top rungs of the U.N. ladder by appointing a U.S. citizen born in the Third World would be an extraordinary move.

However Khalilzad's post will hardly be welcomed by Pakistan. Pakistan's foreign office has accused him of pandering to the Indian lobby. The U.S. ambassador in Kabul, Khalilzad has constantly accused Pakistan of harboring the Taliban fighters. Moreover, Khalilzad is known not to get on well with Pakistan's permanent representative to the U.N., Munir Akram.

Khalilzad played a major role in stabilizing Afghanistan after the defeat of the Taliban and since his appointment to Baghdad he has been striving to alert the Bush administration to the downturn in that country.
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Ajmal Shah Din

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