Special Envoys Coming, But No Final Decision Yet: Clinton

14 January 2009

Washington DC: US Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton has indicated that there may be several special envoys, including one for South Asia, in the incoming Obama administration, though the final decision in this regard was yet to be taken. The US media has been reporting for last one week that Clinton, as Secretary of State, is planning to appoint a series of special envoys for various conflict-prone areas of the world including the one for South Asia. When quizzed over this by Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last night, Clinton said, 'Well, no final decisions have been made. That is a tool that I think you will see more use of.' 'I believe that special envoys, particularly, vis a vis military commands, have a lot to recommend in order to make sure that we've got the civilian presence well represented and in other areas that are hotspots that will demand so much time that we need to put someone, well experienced, an expert, to work on it,' the former first lady told the nomination hearing. She said, 'So we are working through that and, again, this is an area that we will be coming back to you with.' The New York Times reported recently that Clinton intends to appoint Richard Holbrooke, as Special South Asian Envoy. However, there has been no official word from the Obama transition team on the issue. Soon after Barack Obama's victory in the November 4 Presidential elections, reports had suggested that he is mulling appointing former President Bill Clinton as special envoy on Kashmir.