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Ambassador Jawad Travels to Washington State

 

On March 1 Ambassador Jawad traveled to Spokane and Seattle, Washington to address the World Affairs Council of Spokane. Before his speech at Gonzaga University Law School, the Ambassador recognized the crucial role that World Affairs Councils are playing in bringing policy makers and diplomats together with caring and influential citizens across the United States.

The Ambassador opened his remarks by reviewing President Bush’s new five point plan on Afghanistan, which includes increasing resources for building the capacity of the Afghan army and police, bolstering NATO in their fight against terrorist in Afghanistan, fighting poppy cultivation and corruption, and strengthening our provincial governance and rural economy. “Just last month, President Bush addressed this nation to confirm strong US commitment to Afghanistan. This is exactly what the people of Afghanistan want. They want a free, pluralistic society, in which they can send their children to school, start a new business, speak their minds, and build a life,” said Ambassador Jawad. The Ambassador stressed that the mission in Afghanistan enjoys strong bi-partisan support in Congress and international consensus abroad.

The Ambassador emphasized that a stable Afghanistan will mean a safer United States. However, he emphasized the urgent need to secure Afghanistan’s restive southern and eastern provinces. Across Afghanistan last year, the number of roadside bomb attacks almost doubled, attacks on international and Afghan forces increased nearly 300%, and suicide bombings grew nearly 500%. “These escalating attacks demonstrate the determination of our enemies, who will not rest,” said Ambassador Jawad. The Ambassador briefed the status on the changing nature of the Taliban, outlined the Afghan Government’s strategy to combat the upcoming spring offensive by the Taliban, and defined Afghanistan’s priorities in allocating the proposed $11.8 billion in new aid funds.

The Ambassador concluded his remarks by stating that the Afghan people continue to overwhelmingly support the international community and the reconstruction process. “When the world came knocking, Afghans welcome them, and not just into their borders, but into their homes,” he said.

While in Washington State, the Ambassador also toured Boeing facilities, met with a delegation of private sector leaders from Trade Alliance International, and met with military families at Fairchild Air Force Base.

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