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'New envoy to Afghanistan, Pak'

world Updated: Feb 15, 2011 13:05 IST

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has chosen retired diplomat Marc Grossman to replace the late Richard Holbrooke as as the United States' special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

The position has been vacant since Holbrooke, a veteran diplomatic trouble shooter, died suddenly in December.

Clinton met with Grossman at the State Department and expects to announce his appointment in a speech to the Asia Society in New York on Friday, if not before, the Post said. The newspaper cited administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The State Department had no immediate comment on the report.

Grossman would take over as President Barack Obama's administration faces a crucial year in its strategy for the troubled region, including an initial US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan due to begin in July.

Grossman, a former ambassador to Turkey, retired from the the State Department in 2005 after three decades in diplomatic service.

He is vice president of the Cohen Group, a consulting firm headed for former Defense Secretary William Cohen, which advises international business clients on overseas enterprises.