Veteran US diplomat Jeffrey Feltman will become Washington’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, the State Department said Friday.
“This appointment underscores the Administration’s commitment to lead an international diplomatic effort to address the interlinked political, security, and humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
Feltman previously served at the State Department and most recently at the United Nations.
Among the most pressing issues, Feltman will deal with are the continuing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and escalating tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan.
The dispute between African nations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is another conflict Feltman will be tasked with mediating, Blinken said.
“Special Envoy Feltman is uniquely suited to bring decades of experience in Africa and the Middle East, in multilateral diplomacy, and in negotiation and mediation to develop and execute an integrated US strategy to address these complex regional issues,” Blinken said.
The top US diplomat noted that “high-level US engagement” in the Horn of Africa was vital to mitigating the risks posed by the current conflicts in the area.
Feltman served as the under-secretary-general for political affairs at the UN after serving in the State Department for 26 years. Previous posts included being assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs and US ambassador to Lebanon.