Washington- The U.S. State Department says James Dobbins, its special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, will retire from his position this month.
Dobbins' departure comes as Afghanistan is struggling to determine the results of its presidential election, a process that has been undermined by fraud allegations. The delay has undermined hopes for a smooth transfer of power ahead of the withdrawal of U.S. and allied combat troops by the end of 2014.
Secretary of State John Kerry praised Dobbins for his role in helping organize the elections and planning for the transition. He says Dobbins has "a lot to be proud of."
The 72-year-old Dobbins returned from retirement last year to assist with those efforts. He will be replaced by his deputy, Daniel Feldman.