Dec 26, 2008

World - US:Clinton likely Hillary's special envoy for India, Pakistan

London, Dec 25 (IANS) US Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton is believed to be forming a team of special envoys for the world's trouble spots, with her husband and former president Bill Clinton in line for India and Pakistan.

Hillary's team of diplomats will form the spearhead of the US State Department, as the new Secretary of State seeks a bigger role for her office in Barack Obama's government, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.

The former first lady has wasted no time as she begins building up her team in preparation for taking over as America's most senior diplomat from Condoleezza Rice Jan 20.

Her husband Bill has been suggested as a possible envoy to deal with Pakistan and India, the newspaper said.

Richard Holbrooke is among the names being mentioned as a possible envoy either for Afghanistan or Iran. Martin Indyk, a former US ambassador to Israel, has also been mentioned.

While Hillary compiles a shortlist of envoys, she has already dipped into her husband's former team, according to the newspaper.

Bill during his two-term presidency in the 1990s used several envoys, with Holbrooke best-known for his roles in brokering peace deals in the Middle East and the Balkans conflict.

Jacob Lew, budget director in the Clinton administration, has been given the job of making sure the State Department is not under-funded.

James Steinberg, a former deputy national security adviser to the former president, is also in Hillary team as a trusted lieutenant.

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