US envoy to Afghanistan to step down shortly

By REUTERS
May 22, 2012 04:40

 
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CHICAGO - Veteran US diplomat Ryan Crocker is expected to step down soon from his post as US President Barack Obama's envoy to Afghanistan, departing the US mission in Kabul as the United States negotiates a host of challenges on its course out of the long, costly war.

The Obama administration is considering Deputy Ambassador James Cunningham to replace Crocker when he leaves the post as early as this month, sources familiar with the matter said.

It was not immediately clear why the widely respected diplomat was leaving.

Crocker, who came out of retirement to become ambassador in Kabul in July 2011, has led diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan at a time when the White House has focused on reducing the US presence there - and on doing so without letting the country slide back into civil war.

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