Afghanistan/USA — Top-Level Afghan Delegation to Visit Washington

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2010 — Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai and sev­er­al mem­bers of his Cab­i­net will vis­it Wash­ing­ton next week for sev­er­al days of ses­sions focused on ensur­ing suc­cess of the U.S. strat­e­gy in Afghanistan and strength­en­ing the two coun­tries’ long-term part­ner­ship, defense offi­cials con­firmed today.

The vis­it will begin with an open­ing cer­e­mo­ny at the State Depart­ment on May 11, and will include a meet­ing host­ed by Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma at the White House the next day. Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates is expect­ed to par­tic­i­pate in most of the ses­sions and will host a bilat­er­al meet­ing at the Pen­ta­gon with Afghan Defense Min­is­ter Abdul Rah­min War­dak, Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary Geoff Mor­rell told reporters.

The ses­sions will address themes crit­i­cal toward achiev­ing joint objec­tives imple­ment­ing the Afghan government’s Lon­don Con­fer­ence com­mit­ments, Under­sec­re­tary of Defense for Pol­i­cy Michele Flournoy told the Sen­ate For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee.

But both Flournoy and Mor­rell empha­sized that the dis­cus­sions will go beyond imme­di­ate secu­ri­ty issues.

“Meet­ings with Pres­i­dent Oba­ma and U.S Cab­i­net offi­cials will rein­force the long-term and vital part­ner­ship between our two coun­tries in areas rang­ing from secu­ri­ty to gov­er­nance and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment,” Flournoy said.

“We will make it clear … that we wish this rela­tion­ship to be based on far more than our mutu­al secu­ri­ty con­cerns,” Mor­rell added. “And so, much of the con­ver­sa­tion to take place will be, ‘How do we grow the rest of the rela­tion­ship over the long term?’ as we wish this to be an endur­ing part­ner­ship that out­lasts the war we are cur­rent­ly fight­ing togeth­er.” Among top­ics on the table will be a strength­ened U.S.-Afghan Strate­gic Part­ner­ship Dec­la­ra­tion, to be final­ized lat­er this year, Flournoy said. “This is a shared pri­or­i­ty for the Afghans and for us, and we believe it will add con­fi­dence and clar­i­ty to our long-term part­ner­ship with Afghanistan,” she told the Sen­ate com­mit­tee.

Mor­rell sug­gest­ed sev­er­al means that could be dis­cussed to expand the bilat­er­al rela­tion­ship, includ­ing edu­ca­tion­al and cul­tur­al exchanges, eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment efforts and secu­ri­ty assis­tance beyond a large mil­i­tary pres­ence.

In addi­tion to fos­ter­ing a long-term rela­tion­ship between the two coun­tries, these efforts will offer the Afghans assur­ance of the endur­ing U.S. com­mit­ment there, Mor­rell said. “We are not going to turn our backs on Afghanistan as we did after the defeat of the Sovi­ets,” he said. “We are not going to aban­don this cause. We are very much there for the long run.”

The hope is this recog­ni­tion will give the Afghanistan gov­ern­ment the con­fi­dence “to take on some of the hard issues that it needs to in the years to come – know­ing that we are going to be there to back them up; we are going to be there in sup­port for the long run,” Mor­rell said.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →