x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Holbrooke remembered as consummate US diplomat

World leaders, colleagues, friends and analysts remembered Mr Holbrooke as a giant of American foreign policy.

Richard Holbrooke, the veteran US diplomat who negotiated the 1995 accord that ended the Balkans war and was US President Barack Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has died at age 69.

World leaders, colleagues, friends and analysts remembered Mr Holbrooke as a giant of American foreign policy.

Here are some of their statements.

US President Barack Obama

"Tonight, there are millions of people around the world

whose lives have been saved and enriched by his work. As I said

earlier this evening, the United States is safer and the world

is more secure because of the half century of patriotic service

of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke."

Siyamak Herawi, spokesman for Afghan president Hamid Karzai

"We are saddened by his death, it is a big loss. He had

done great services for Afghanistan."

US vice president Joe Biden

"Today, I lost a great friend and America lost one of its

greatest warriors for peace. ... He was a tireless negotiator,

a relentless advocate for American interests, and the most

talented diplomat we've had in a generation."

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton

"Richard Holbrooke served the country he loved for nearly

half a century, representing the United States in far-flung

war-zones and high-level peace talks, always with distinctive

brilliance and unmatched determination. He was one of a kind -

a true statesman."

Senator John Kerry, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee

"We loved his energy, we loved his resolve - that's who

Richard was, and he died giving everything he had to one last

difficult mission for the country he loved.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee

"Richard Holbrooke has been a dynamic force in American

diplomacy ... His stellar service is deeply appreciated and

held in the highest esteem."

Former US President Bill Clinton

"In a lifetime of passionate, brilliant service on the

front lines of war and peace, freedom and oppression, Richard

Holbrooke saved lives, secured peace, and restored hope for

countless people around the world."

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair

"He was a remarkable man, a remarkable public servant and

someone who contributed enormously to the cause of a more

peaceful and just world. He will be deeply mourned by many

people in many different nations."

Independent political analyst in Islamabad, Hasan Askari Rizvi

"On the one hand he was seen as a task-oriented chap, and

on the other hand, he sympathized with Pakistani problems, like

displaced persons because of the war on terror. Also in the

flood situation, he took a personal interest. So his exit from

the scene will be seen as a loss of a friend.

So far as Pakistan-Afghanistan-US diplomacy is concerned,

there will be a brief gap because the U.S. will have to find a

person who has relations to the extent that Holbrooke had

developed."

Senior fellow at American Security Project, Michael Cohen

"Holbrooke was perhaps the finest diplomat of his

generation and it would be unfair to judge him solely by his

efforts in Afghanistan. In fact, I think the tragedy of his

last posting was that he wasn't fully given the opportunity to

use his prodigous talents to spearhead a diplomatic initiative

in Afghanistan."

Analyst at Brookings Institution, Vanda Felbab-Brown

"As very sad as Richard Holbrooke's passing is, the role of

the SRAP (Special Representative Afghanistan, Pakistan) is an

important one. It is important to appoint into the position

someone who can redevelop a good, or at least, working

relationship between the United States and the international

community on the one hand and President (Hamid) Karzai on the

other. And there continues to be an important need for working

the regional relationships - with Pakistan and more broadly."