Mar 2, 2009

Sarkozy picks special envoy for Afghanistan, Pakistan

President Nicolas Sarkozy has picked veteran politician Pierre Lellouche to be France’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, French officials said on Sunday.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the officials said a formal announcement of Lellouche’s appointment would be made at the start of this coming week.
It will be accompanied by the creation of a special team that will bring together all government ministries involved with developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Lellouche, 57, who belongs to Sarkozy’s conservative UMP party, is a member of the National Assembly and sits on its defence committee. He also heads the French delegation to the NATO parliamentary assembly.
Last year, together with a Socialist legislator, he undertook a parliamentary mission to take stock of both France’s military commitment in Afghanistan and NATO’s strategy in that country.
He reported that the transatlantic alliance was ‘not winning the war in Afghanistan’ and that taxpayers from NATO member countries were underwriting the creation of a ‘narco-state’.
His role as special envoy will involve several trips to the region.

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