VOA News / June 24, 2017
WASHINGTON — The U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan has stepped down.
Laurel Miller left the office Friday without a replacement being named.
The departure of the special envoy comes at the same time the U.S. is preparing to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan in its continued fight against the Taliban insurgency.
Politico, the news website, reported Friday that diplomats thought the special envoy’s office was closing Friday, with its responsibilities being folded into the State Department’s South and Central Asian Affairs Bureau.
Later Friday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that he had not yet made a decision about the future of the office. Tillerson has indicated he plans to reduce the number of special envoys in the State Department, which is facing potential budget cuts of up to 30 percent.