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Bildt pays tribute to diplomat Holbrooke

Bildt pays tribute to diplomat Holbrooke

Published: 14 Dec 2010 10:20 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Dec 2010 10:20 GMT+01:00

"He was a giant in modern global diplomacy. I will miss him. The United States will be poorer without Richard Holbrooke," Bildt wrote on his blog concerning the 69-year-old US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan who died overnight.

Bildt worked closely with Holbrooke and others to broker the 1995 treaty that ended the Bosnian war, with the US diplomat receiving credit for hammering out a treaty that many privately thought would be impossible.

"I can still remember like yesterday the daily rollercoaster ride of diplomacy, disputes, hope and disappointment that we were thrown into together during those dramatic months," Bildt wrote, adding that Holbrooke's work on the treaty was "absolutely decisive."

Holbrooke, who was Obama's special US envoy in the current Afghan conflict, fell ill at work on Friday and was rushed to a Washington hospital, undergoing surgery for a torn aorta. He died Monday US officials said.

"Soldiers die in battle, but diplomats seldom do. Richard Holbrooke was I think an exception in this respect. He died in the middle of one of modern diplomacy's most difficult and most important battles," Bildt wrote in his long tribute.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

13:35 December 14, 2010 by glamshek
His Final words were''Stop Afghan War''.
02:40 December 15, 2010 by Ivan Juric
Mr Holbrooke had the courage to deal with Milosevic (the former president of Serbia) and his murderous thugs who went on rampage through Bosnia and Croatia. It was Mr Holbrookes tenacity that has saved the lives of many people. Mr Holbrooke is a true humanitarian.
18:50 December 15, 2010 by MikeSar
Mr. Holbrooke is the best Diplomat in our times. Some are too "soft" others are too often too "tough" to create a view in the mind of some, or even attempt to have that impact.

In our times, when N. Korea suddenly bombed and killed fishermen in South Korea, when radicals attack the peaceful large city on West India, the old Bombay, when radicals attack Moscow and Stockholm, only diplomats with the full range of skills including the image and ability to convince and/or frighten seems, evidently, able to succeed. We all need one more of this kind in Europe, USA and the UN, to replace Mr. Holbrooke.
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