Tuesday, August 26, 2008

US UN Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad contact with Zardari Raises Eyebrows

US envoy to UN accused of having unauthorized contacts with Zardari

WASHINGTON: US ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad has reportedly been pulled up by US State Department officials for unauthorized establishing contacts with PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. A senior US official is to be believed, Khalilzad talked to Zardari over phone several times a week for the past month until he was confronted about the unauthorized contacts, a US daily reported. Khalilzad had been advised to stop speaking freely to Zardari, and that it was not clear whether he would face any disciplinary action, added the official. According to other officials, he also had plans to meet Zardari during a vacation in Dubai, but that was cancelled after US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard A. Boucher learnt about the move from none other than Zardari himself. Then, Boucher is learnt to have sent a personal email to Khalizad telling him that his conduct was unanthorised. Can I ask what sort of 'advice and help' you are providing? Boucher wrote in an angry e-mail message to Khalilzad. What sort of channel is this? Governmental, private, personnel? the daily quoted Boucher as telling the US envoy at the UN in the email. The copies of the message were sent to others at the highest levels of the State Department, added the paper.

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