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14 December 2010 - Death of Richard Holbrooke - Statement by Michèle Alliot-Marie, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

I was extremely sad to learn of Richard Holbrooke’s sudden death.

I want to pay tribute to the memory of this brilliant diplomat, tireless negotiator and staunch supporter of the role of the United Nations, where he was a particularly active, committed and valued United States permanent representative, with a deep-seated conviction that the world and mankind need mediation and peace.

No one has forgotten his courageous, determined efforts for the Dayton-Paris Agreement, which showed that the road to peace in the Balkans was possible. Richard Holbrooke demonstrated his ability to do a tough job to ensure respect for the rights of every community and individual, to refuse impunity and lay the foundations for co-existence and, when the time came, reconciliation, so as to prepare for a lasting peace.

He had a high idea of the responsibilities of American diplomacy, whose role he always defended tenaciously, resolutely and with panache, particularly in his final post as United States Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Today, all those who, in the French diplomatic network, have valued working with Richard Holbrooke are extremely upset.

In these distressing circumstances, I extend my sincere condolences to Richard Holbrooke’s family and close friends and the American authorities and people, whom I assure of my heartfelt sympathy at this painful time./.



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