New US envoy meets Afghan President: Kabul

Frank Ruggiero is now acting US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Kabul: The man who replaced the late Richard Holbrooke as Washington`s acting special Afghanistan and Pakistan envoy met President Hamid Karzai on Sunday in their first meeting since he took the post, Kabul said.

Frank Ruggiero assured the US-backed Afghan leader of Washington`s support for his plans to make peace with "those Taliban who are not linked to terrorist groups”, Karzai`s office said in a statement.

Karzai is trying to broker a peaceful end to the near decade-long war, an insurgency being waged by the Taliban who were ousted from power in a US-led invasion in 2001.

The mainstream Taliban has publicly rejected Karzai`s peace overtures.

Ruggiero replaced Holbrooke as acting special representative following the latter`s death in December after suffering a torn aorta.

His last words were "You`ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan," US media reported, citing Holbrooke`s relatives.

The visit comes before world leaders from South Asia and beyond are expected to attend a US memorial ceremony for Holbrooke on January 14, around which a series of meetings on stabilising the region are expected to be held.

Bureau Report