Washington (Agencies): Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has selected retired diplomat Marc Grossman as the United States' special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The position has been vacant since Richard Holbrooke died suddenly in December.

Clinton met with Grossman at the State Department and likely to announce his appointment in a speech to the Asia Society in New York on Friday, said an official on condition of anonymity to the Post.

The State Department had no immediate remark on the report.

Grossman would take over as President Barack Obama's administration faces a crucial year in its strategy for the troubled region, including an initial US troop removal from Afghanistan due to begin in July.

Grossman, a former ambassador to Turkey, retired from the State Department in 2005 after three decades in political service.

He is vice president of consulting firm Cohen Group, which advises international business clients on overseas enterprises.