Afghanistan, US Kick off Diplomatic Meetings

    Security, development, governance, and reintegration and reconciliation will remain the focus of the U.S. aid to Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a visit to Washington by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

    Karzai, for his part, said that Afghanistan’s gains in education, health, communication, transportation, army and police, national income and foreign reserves “would have not been possible without the sacrifices of your sons and daughters in Afghanistan together with the Afghan people and without your taxpayers’ money spent in Afghanistan together with the Afghan people.”

    Karzai is visiting the U.S. until May 14 to attend the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Discussions. Both countries are “working on plans” to finalize a new Strategic Partnership Declaration later this year, Clinton said. Meetings on May 11 covered issues such as security, governance, economic development, agricultural and rural development, social issues and women’s welfare, she added.

    The U.S. will continue to equip, train, and support the Afghan national security forces “after our combat role winds down”, as well as set up an effective and responsible police force in the Asian nation, Clinton stressed.

    Karzai will soon map out a reintegration and reconciliation process for Taliban fighters and other insurgents, she said, adding that the U.S. is looking forward to the inclusion of women in the Afghan reintegration and reconciliation efforts.

    About the author

    • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

      As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.