(March 24, 2020 / JNS) Canadian Ambassador to Israel Deborah Lyons has been appointed as the U.N. special envoy for Afghanistan, said U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric in a press briefing on Tuesday.
“United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres today announced the appointment of Deborah Lyons of Canada as his new Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA),” said Dujarric.
Lyons succeeds Tadamichi Yamamoto, who has served in the role since 2016.
Lyons served as Canada’s ambassador to Afghanistan for three years before becoming Ottawa’s representative to Israel in 2016.
Her appointment comes as the United States and its NATO partners seek to reduce their military footprint in Afghanistan, where the United States has been fighting the Taliban and other insurgent forces since October 2001.
A peace agreement was reached last month between the United States and the Taliban that includes a timeline for what could be an eventual total withdrawal of the roughly 12,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan, contingent on the Taliban meeting certain conditions, including talks with the Afghan government and severing ties with fellow terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda.
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