WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to soon tap Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-born former U.S. ambassador to Kabul and Baghdad, as his special envoy on Afghanistan, two U.S. officials said, the latest signal to the Taliban that Washington is serious about talks to end its longest war.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad speaks to the media after a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the conflict between Russian and Georgia at United Nations headquarters in New York August 11, 2008. REUTERS/Keith Bedford/File Photo
The decision to tap Khalilzad, a Republican and foreign policy veteran, follows a reported meeting last month between a U.S. diplomat and Taliban officials to explore possible negotiations.
Reporting by Jonathan Landay; editing by Yara Bayoumy and G Crosse