WASHINGTON 23 july(TNS): Redressing speculations that it was abolishing the office established during former president Barack Obama’s first term, the Trump administration has appointed an acting special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The new representative, Alice Wells, a career foreign service officer (FSO), is the acting assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs. In her new capacity, she is expected to integrate the operations of the two offices.
The special representative coordinates US policies for Pakistan and Afghanistan, working directly with the two governments and with Washington’s Nato allies.
Ambassador Wells was a senior diplomat with over 28 years of experience. She was US Ambassador to Jordan and has also served in Islamabad, New Delhi, Moscow, Riyadh and Dushanbe. She has also worked at the White House, and at various positions in the State Department, a post on the State Department’s official website said.
“Under Ambassador Wells’ leadership, the department will continue to maintain focus and leadership on Afghanistan and Pakistan issues,” a State Department official said.
Alice Wells’s appointment coincides with an ongoing review of the US strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, which may include major administrative and policy changes. Diplomatic observers in Washington say that the changes may also affect the special representative’s office.