Staffan de Mistura in Iraq

Swede Picked for Afghan UN Post?

Veteran American envoy Richard Holkbrooke says a Swedish diplomat has been offered the job as the United Nations’ top representative in Afghanistan.

Holbrooke, the US special envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, tells “Foreign Policy” magazine that Washington is “very pleased” with the choice of Staffan de Mistura to succeed Norway’s Kai Eide when he steps down in March. However, a UN spokesman says Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has not completed the selection process.

Eide was criticised by his former deputy, American Peter Galbraith, for failing to take action to prevent what international observers said was widespread fraud in last year’s Afghan elections. De Mistura has worked in international trouble spots for more than three decades, most recently two years as the UN special envoy to Iraq.

He has also served in southern Lebanon, Somalia, the Balkans, and Nepal.

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