Casey Statement on Meeting with Karzai

WASHINGTON, DC— Following his meeting today with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released the following statement:

“Today, I joined a small group of senators who met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.  We had a frank discussion of the challenges our countries face in the region.  

“I thanked President Karzai for his efforts to ban ammonium nitrate to keep this deadly ingredient out of IEDs targeting U.S. and coalition forces.  We also discussed additional steps that must be taken to cut off the flow of ammonium nitrate from Pakistan.  

“We discussed the need to increase the speed at which Afghan security forces are trained to take up more of the fight from U.S. forces, the need to combat corruption and the importance of improving governance.  We share a common enemy in the Taliban and Al Qaeda.  The U.S. is committed to a long term partnership with Afghanistan, but people in Pennsylvania need to see results – the Afghan government needs to be able to show that it has a plan and can make progress.

“In order for Afghanistan to truly move forward, its people need to have faith in the government’s ability to ensure the rule of law and provide for justice.  An effective and responsive police force is a key element to the provision of justice.  In my conversation with the President and Minister of Interior Atmar, I asked about the progress of police training.  We need to get it done right, but we also need to move quickly in order to create an environment where Afghans have access to justice.”

Yesterday, Senator Casey organized a meeting with top Afghan officials also visiting Washington including: Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak, Minister of Defense; Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Minister of Interior; Dr. Ghulam Farooq Wardak, Minister of Education; Amena Afzali Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs & Disabled; Dr. Suraya Dalil, Acting Minister of Health; Mohammad Masoon Stanekzai, Advisor to the President; Ms.  Abeda Osman, Director of Human Rights and Women’s Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Hazrat Omer Zakhilwal, Minister of Finance; Wahidullah Shahrani, Minister of Mines; Gulam Jelani Popal, Director of Independent Directorate for Local Governance; and Mohammad Yasin Osmani, Director, High Office of Oversight.