Khalilzad lends his weight to front-line presidential runner Trump

Zalmay_Khalilzad_in_October_2011-croppedWASHINGTON: Afghan American Zalmay Khalilzad, who is the highest ever ranking Muslim in any presidential administration, on Wednesday introduced Donald Trump, the GOP presidential front runner as he unveiled his foreign policy vision.

“Today, as the primaries wind down, Donald Trump delivers a much anticipated speech on his foreign policy philosophy. This is a critical moment for America and for the world,” Khalilzad said moments before Trump took the podium to deliver his widely watched speech on foreign policy.

However, in his speech, Trump made no mention of Afghanistan.

Khalilzad said the presidential primaries have shown that our country is deeply conflicted and polarized about America’s purpose and mission around the world. “Mr. Trump has been a provocative voice in this debate. His message has resonated with a significant part of our electorate,” he said.

The event was organized by The National Interest, which invited Trump to elaborate upon his distinctive views about America’s role in the world, and explain how he would lead America as commander in chief, Khalilzad said.

Born and raised in Afghanistan, Khalilzad moved to the United States in 60s and ultimately rose to become US ambassador to Afghanistan after the invasion, then U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and finally U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Author of the just released book “The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House. My journey through a turbulent world,” Khalilzad in a recent interview to Fareed Zakaria of the CNN had indicated – albeit reluctantly — that he would work under a Trump Administration if asked.

“Well, I am an American. I want to help my country, the United States. I think a leader that’s willing to unify America, not divide America and to follow an intelligent long-term strategy that as elements of defense and offense against those who wish us ill but also as positive engagement I would be more than happy to offer my views and advice to any of our leaders,” Zakaria said. -(Pajhwok)

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