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AMBASSADOR SAID T. JAWAD ADDRESSES SECURITY CONCERNS DURING TRIP TO NEW YORK

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 1, 2006

MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Joshua Gross, Director of Media Relations
(202) 483-6410 ext. 8002
gross@embassyofafghanistan.org

NEW YORK - Ambassador Said T. Jawad participated in a number of media engagements and private meetings in New York on July 27 and 28. This trip occurred days before the transition to NATO forces in Afghanistan’s southern region, and was meant to galvanize support for Afghan and Coalition Forces and present an accurate picture of the security situation throughout the country. In conversation with Steve Doocy of the FOX News Channel’s FOX and Friends, the Ambassador fielded questions concerning the NATO transition, stating, “NATO forces in Afghanistan are increasingly taking more important roles and taking command of the International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan. In this new mission, NATO forces, U.S. forces and the Afghan security forces are carrying out a large-scale military operation that involves about 10,000 soldiers.” In his comments about the political climate of the country, Ambassador Jawad assured FOX that, “The engagement of United States is demanded by the Afghan people, and it's very much welcome. We are facing some challenges, but overall, Afghans today have more political and economic rights than at any other time in the history of the country.”

The following morning, in an interview with Soledad O’Brien, the Ambassador illustrated the reasons for the spike in terrorist violence within Afghanistan, stating, “The first reason is domestic. The national institutions in Afghanistan are not strong enough to provide services and protection to the Afghan people, due to a lack of resources. The second reason is regional, as terrorists still have access to ideological and physical safe haven in the neighborhood of Afghanistan.” When asked how Afghanistan has changed in the past five years, the Ambassador replied, “If you consider especially the fifth anniversary of 9/11, coming up soon here in New York, Afghanistan has made significant progress. Afghanistan is the first round in war against terror. We cannot fail.”

In the course of his trip to New York, Ambassador Jawad also met with Jeff Eubanks, Vice President of Global Affairs for the New York Stock Exchange, the editorial boards of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, as well as Ambassador Ravan Farhadi and the staff of the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations.

On the evening of July 27, the Ambassador addressed an audience of Afghan young professionals and New York community and business leaders at the Empire State Building during an event hosted by Afghan Communicator. In a speech entitled, “The Promise of a Free Afghanistan,” the Ambassador encouraged Afghan Americans to help rebuild the country in any way they could and applauded the patriotic contributions that have already been made. “Some of these enthusiastic and committed young professionals will lead our communities to new heights here in the U.S., others will return to Afghanistan to contribute to the state-building process,” he said. The Ambassador discussed recent manifestations of the war on terror both inside and outside of Afghanistan, stating, “Tragically, New Yorkers understand better than anyone that global security depends upon defending freedom in each and every corner in world. As the terrorist attacks in India earlier this month demonstrate, the global war on terror is far from over.”

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