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Pakistan US envoy to step down

21:20 Wed Nov 28 2012
AAP

The US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan is stepping down in yet another shake-up of President Barack Obama's foreign policy team.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, herself set to leave office early next year, had pulled envoy Marc Grossman out of retirement to take on the difficult job shortly after the sudden death of veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke in December 2010.

"After almost two years in the position, and with Secretary Clinton's agreement, he will return to private life," Grossman's spokeswoman Laura Lucas told AFP in a statement on Tuesday.

Grossman, 61, has travelled relentlessly in the region, and his behind-the-scenes efforts helped persuade Pakistan to reopen its border crossings with Afghanistan to NATO convoys earlier this year. They had been closed amid a row over the killing of 24 Pakistani troops in a US air strike.

His work over the past two years had also supported Obama's "objectives to disrupt and defeat Al-Qaeda and ensure that Afghanistan can no longer become a safe haven for terrorists," Lucas added.

Grossman will step down next month and ambassador David Pearce, currently principal deputy special representative, will serve as the acting special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.