[holding answer 12 February 2009]: The Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan will work closely with our ambassador in Kabul and our high commissioner in Islamabad, as well as co-ordinating with the other key Government Departments working on Afghanistan and Pakistan. He will focus on the cross-cutting issues facing both Governments, such as counter-extremism. He will work closely with his US counterpart, ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and will consult with other international partners to help build consensus and support for the Afghan and Pakistani Governments.
[holding answer 12 February 2009]: Ministers and senior officials spoke to their Afghan and Pakistani counterparts to discuss the appointment of Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles on 6 and 7 February 2009. Our embassy in Kabul and high commission in Islamabad also discussed the appointment of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan with their host Governments before its announcement on 9 February 2009.
[holding answer 12 February 2009]: The Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan will have two members of staff allocated to support him. The Special Representative will also be able to draw on the expertise of Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff working on Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as several other Government Departments, and our missions in Kabul, Lashkar Gah, Islamabad, Karachi, and the wider region.
[holding answer 12 February 2009]: The position of Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan comes from the reallocation of existing resources within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The appointment has no fixed term but will be kept under periodic review.