Correction: This story has been updated to correct the first name of Alice Wells.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to name Zalmay Khalilzad as a special envoy on Afghanistan, according to a senior US official and another source familiar with the matter.
Khalilzad is a diplomatic veteran, having served as a US ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations. A source told CNN that Khalilzad is close to all of the players, knows the region well and is known by the Afghans.
“He’s a charmer,” one source said. “And knowing him, he wouldn’t do it if he didn’t have a chance. With the right mandate he could be quite effective.”
Reuters first reported the news.
The 67-year-old Khalilzad, who is Afghan-born, served as a foreign policy adviser to multiple administrations and held several diplomatic posts under President George W. Bush’s administration.
Pompeo’s expected choice of Khalilzad comes as the United States looks to make headway in its longstanding campaign against the Taliban.
Alice Wells, a senior State Department official, met for discussions with Taliban officials last month in Doha. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered a month-long ceasefire with the Taliban last week, a move that was supported by Pompeo.
“The last ceasefire in Afghanistan revealed the deep desire of the Afghan people to end the conflict, and we hope another ceasefire will move the country closer to sustainable security,” Pompeo said in a statement. “We remain ready to support, facilitate, and participate in direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. There are no obstacles to talks. It is time for peace.”
CNN’s Jay Croft contributed to this report.