Biden to Assess Progress in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2011 — Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden arrived in Afghanistan today for a pre­vi­ous­ly unan­nounced vis­it that White House offi­cials said is designed to assess progress and rein­force the U.S. com­mit­ment.

Biden is sched­uled to meet with Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai, to speak to U.S. ser­vice mem­bers and civil­ians, and to vis­it an Afghan army train­ing cen­ter.

This is Biden’s first trip to Afghanistan as vice pres­i­dent. He was greet­ed by U.S. Ambas­sador to Afghanistan Karl W. Eiken­ber­ry; Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO mil­i­tary com­man­der in Afghanistan; and three Afghan offi­cials.

A White House offi­cial said the vice pres­i­dent will assess progress toward the tran­si­tion to Afghan-led secu­ri­ty and to demon­strate U.S. com­mit­ment to a long-term part­ner­ship with Afghanistan. He also will meet with Petraeus and Eiken­ber­ry to get an “update from them on the sit­u­a­tion on the ground,” the offi­cial added.

Biden and Karzai are sched­uled to have lunch togeth­er dur­ing the trip, and are sched­uled to par­tic­i­pate in an expand­ed meet­ing with offi­cials from both coun­tries.

Biden last vis­it­ed Afghanistan in 2009 as vice pres­i­dent-elect.

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

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