Soysal named new UN aid envoy to Pakistan


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Turkish diplomat Rauf Engin Soysal to be the new special UN envoy for assistance to Pakistan, replacing Jean-Maurice Ripert of France. Ban created the special envoy position last year to help the government and the international community respond to needs in the wake of Pakistan's displacement crisis. Soysal, who is currently deputy undersecretary for bilateral political affairs responsible for the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, brings with him extensive experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy and in-depth knowledge of the region, according to a statement accompanying the UN announcement. The proposal for Soysal's appointment came from the UN side and was personally favored by both Ban and Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters in New York following the announcement of the appointment on Monday. "This is not a result of a months-long campaign; on the contrary, the issue was mentioned to us for the first time five days ago during the UN General Assembly," Davutoglu was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency. "All parties agreed on Mr. Soysal within three or four days. This is an agreement reached at a speed which is seen rarely at the UN," he added.