Richard Olson arrives in Pakistan to take up duties as new US envoy
ISLAMABAD: Richard G. Olson arrived in Pakistan on Saturday to take up his duties as the new US Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Upon his arrival, Ambassador Olson said: “I am excited to begin my work in Pakistan. I look forward to presenting my credentials to President Zardari as soon as possible and to start working with Pakistanis from all sections of society to build a relationship based on mutual respect and common interests.”
He added that he wished “to see as much of this beautiful country as possible and meet its talented people. There is tremendous potential in this country and I want to work with Pakistanis to increase economic opportunity, expand trade between our two countries, address the energy crisis, and improve the quality of education and health care for all.”
Ambassador Olson was sworn in by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on September 24, 2012. His previous assignment was as the Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs at the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012.
Olson’s predecessor Munter, who had been an advocate within the Obama administration for reconciliation with Pakistan, resigned in May 2012 after a turbulent tenure in which US forces secretly killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. People close to him have said he was frustrated that the CIA and Pentagon took the lead on Pakistan policy, with Munter’s job effectively to contain the fallout.