US names envoy for Afghan resettlement

Published October 13, 2021
Afghan refugees ride aboard a bus taking them to a refugee processing centre upon arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, US, August 25. — Reuters
Afghan refugees ride aboard a bus taking them to a refugee processing centre upon arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, US, August 25. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: The Biden administration has appointed Elizabeth Jones, a veteran diplomat, to lead efforts for relocation and resettlement in Afghanistan, the US State Department said on Tuesday.

“As the Coordinator for Afghan Relocation Efforts, Ambassador Jones will assume oversight of the entire Afghanistan relocation effort, from our ongoing efforts to facilitate the departure of individuals from Afghanistan to their onward relocation and resettlement in the United States,” the official announcement said.

Ambassador Jones has been recalled from her retirement to lead the rescue and resettlement effort.

Her first assignment as a foreign service officer was in Kabul and she also worked as the Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was US Ambassador to Kazakhstan and assistant secretary of state as well.

Jones “will be focusing on the very complex issues related to our efforts to facilitate the relocation and resettlement in the United States of Afghan individuals, to whom we have a special commitment,” a State Department official told reporters in Washington.

Her team includes diplomats organised into groups focused on four main areas: relocating people out of Afghanistan, processing those individuals in third countries, resettlement of Afghans in the US, and outreach and engagement with volunteer and veterans’ groups.

Ambassadors Jones, however, will not engage directly with the Taliban.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2021

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