Top U.S. envoy to Afghanistan resigns

Top U.S. envoy to Afghanistan resigns

Top U.S. envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is stepping down, the State Department said on Monday, less than two months after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover of the country.

Khalilzad will be replaced by his deputy, Tom West, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, noting that West will work closely with the U.S. embassy, which is now based in Doha, on U.S. interests in Afghanistan.

CNN reported earlier Monday that the Biden administration was expected to announce Khalilzad's departure. In a letter to Blinken obtained by CNN, Khalilzad said he decided it was the right time to step down "at a juncture when we are entering a new phase in our Afghanistan policy."

His departure follows his exclusion from the Biden administration's first formal talks with the Taliban after the U.S. pullout, held in Doha earlier in October.

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