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President Karzai Discusses Security at Woodrow Wilson Center  

 

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted President Karzai on September 25, where he spoke on the importance of international cooperation in Afghanistan. The President called on the international community to exert greater pressure on the sources of terror. “By far the biggest threat facing Afghanistan today is still terrorism.  Regrettably, despite their defeat in Afghanistan five years ago, terrorists have not been eliminated from the region…no matter how many battles we fight and win against terrorists on the Afghan soil, the war will only be won if we dismantle the sources of terrorism – its ideological, financial and military networks – outside our border. State elements relying on religious radicalism as an instrument of policy must be removed. We must close those terrorist hotbeds which call themselves madrassas or religious schools. These schools do not teach religion but preach hatred and train suicide bombers.” 

The president highlighted the links between narcotics and terrorism and said, “Afghanistan is firmly committed to the fight against narcotics. Just as fighting terrorism demands international cooperation, fighting narcotics requires the same. Strong and coordinated efforts across the international community are necessary to overcome these menaces.” The President spoke frankly about the severity of Afghanistan’s opium problem, but assured the audience that the Afghan government was fully committed to winning the war against narcotics through a combination of eradication, alternative livelihood development and the strengthening of government institutions.

The President concluded by emphasizing Afghanistan’s commitment to the global war against terror stating, “We have a joint vision for Afghanistan – a vision of prosperity, democracy and a dignified existence among the community of nations.  We Afghans have given great sacrifices in two of the world’s wars for freedom: the war against communism and the war against terrorism.  We will continue to partner with you in the future, but we expect that our friends will stand firm with us as we strengthen the foundation of our new democracy and strive for lasting peace and security today.”

To view a video of the President’s speech, please click here

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