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Envoy Holbrooke in critical condition post-surgery

(FILES) Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (R)

(FILES) Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (R) chats with Richard Holbrooke (C), US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, during a joint press conferecne after a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad on April 7, 2009. Holbrooke was in critical condition on December 11, 2010 in a hospital in Washington, DC. Photo Credit: Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — Veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke, the president’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, was in critical condition Saturday after surgery to repair a tear in his aorta.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the surgery at George Washington University Hospital was completed Saturday morning on the 69-year-old Holbrooke and that his family was with him. He became ill on Friday while at work at the State Department.

Hospital officials did not respond late Saturday to an e-mail seeking more information.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the hospital on Friday night and again Saturday.

President Barack Obama early in his administration named Holbrooke special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The veteran diplomat is perhaps best known for helping broker the 1995 agreement that ended the war in Bosnia.

He served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Clinton administration. He also was U.S. ambassador to Germany from 1993 to 1994 and then assistant secretary of state for European affairs.

Holbrooke’s career with the foreign service dates back to his posting in South Vietnam in 1962 and included time as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam.

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