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.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.