|The Embassy of Afghanistan Web Site|
|Volume 33 :: July 2006|
H.E. Foreign Minister Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Mr. Tre Stephens, Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs and Democracy Ms. Paula Dobriansky, Stewart McLaurin and H.E. Ambassador Said T. Jawad at Georgetown University
In This Issue
In the Media
President Hamid Karzai attended the sixth summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on June 15, 2006..." Please read below for details.
Ambassador Jawad: Enhancing Security in the South
As you are aware, Operation Mountain Thrust is currently unfolding in four southern provinces. This crucial operation involves over 10,000 Coalition and Afghan soldiers fighting side by side. However, large-scale, periodic military sweeps will not completely eliminate the terrorist infiltrations. Eventually, the soldiers pull back, and the terrorists crawl out of their hiding places to renew their campaign of fear and intimidation. President Karzai recommends a “Clear, Hold and Build Strategy” in order to fight terrorism effectively. We should first clear the countryside of terrorists through large scale, periodic operations. Then we should have compact and highly mobile international military force working closely with our national army and local government authorities to hold the area and respond to daily terrorist attacks. In the long term, our national police force must be given adequate training, equipment and salaries to be present twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to hold and defend the population.
Excerpted from remarks at the Las Vegas World Affairs Council in Las Vegas, NV
Hamid Karzai attended the sixth summit of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO) on June 15, 2006. The summit convened the leaders of
China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to
discuss regional issues and future cooperation. In his address to the
SCO, President Karzai shared Afghanistan’s accomplishments: “In the last
four and half years, Afghanistan has taken great strides towards the
establishment of a state based on rule of law, building state
institutions, reconstruction, economic growth and trade between
Afghanistan and countries of the region. These achievements are indeed
objectives that are also incorporated as part of the SCO framework.” A
number of agreements were signed, among them a declaration to fight “the
three evils” of separatism, extremism, and terrorism. All heads of state
agreed that the organization will continue to devote themselves to the
pursuit of trust, equality, and mutual benefit.
Minister Dr. Rangin Spanta visited Washington DC during July 5-9, 2006.
This was his first official visit to the United States as Afghanistan’s
new Foreign Minister. The Foreign Minister held productive meetings with
senior US government officials including Vice President Richard Cheney,
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld, and National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. The Minister
discussed with them the main security challenges facing Afghanistan
including terrorism, narcotics, and weak state institutions due to a
lack of resources. He highlighted the need for going after “the sources
of terrorism” outside Afghanistan’s borders. He said narcotics continue
to undermine governance and security in Afghanistan. The problem would
not be resolved unless poor Afghan farmers were given sustainable
alternative livelihoods, the Minister stressed. At the same time, he
blamed weak state institutions on a lack of resources to strengthen
their capacity and deliver services to people, particularly in the south
and east of Afghanistan. As a result, the government has lost the active
loyalty of the people that is critically needed to expand and sustain
the authority of the government throughout Afghanistan.
To listen to audio or watch video of
Foreign Minister Spanta's appearance at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies, please click
Karzai made an official visit to Beijing after the SCO summit on
June 15. The President met with his counterpart Chinese President Hu
Jintao and other senior Chinese officials to discuss bilateral
relations and issues of mutual interest. China and Afghanistan
issued a joint statement agreeing to deepen bilateral economic,
security, and humanitarian ties on June 20. To that end, Afghanistan
and China signed a number of key agreements, including Treaty of
Good-Neighborly Friendship and Cooperation, Cooperation Agreement on
Combating Transnational Crime, Agreement on Trade and Economic
Cooperation, Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation,
Exchange Letter for China Granting Zero Tariff Treatment to Certain
Goods Originated in Afghanistan, Air Service Agreement, Agreement
between the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the Afghanistan
National Army on China’s Provision of Military Aid Gratis for the
Training of Military Personnel to Afghanistan, Memorandum of
Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation, Agreement of Cooperation
between the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the
China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Agreement of
Cooperation between the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency and
the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
Jawad spoke on “The Future for a Democratic Afghanistan” at the
Las Vegas World Affairs Council on
June 26. The Ambassador discussed Afghanistan’s reconstruction strategy
and the role the people and government of Afghanistan play in the global
war on terror. “President Karzai recommends a “Clear, Hold and Build
Strategy” in order to fight terrorism effectively,” said Ambassador
Jawad. He welcomed the Operation Mountain Thrust to clear southern
Afghanistan of the terrorists and insurgents. But he said the
operation’s effectiveness would depend on addressing the basic
socio-economic needs of the people in rural Afghanistan. “To keep the
trust and support of ordinary citizens, we must work together to build
the countryside and improve the daily lives of civilians. Without
adequate development and job opportunities, people will be taken hostage
by the terrorists and narco-traffickers,” the Ambassador said.
Throughout the month, Ambassador Jawad discussed these and other issues on television and radio. To hear some of the Ambassador's interviews, click on the following links:
The Kojo Nnamdi Show
NPR's Talk of the Nation
Voice of America Uzbek Service
Washington Journal on CSPAN (scroll down to bottom of page)
Ambassador Jawad and Acting Commercial Attache Khaleda Atta spoke at a roundtable at University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University’s Colleges of Agriculture on June 6 and 7. In his address, the Ambassador cited the many positive measures taken by the Afghan government in the past four and a half years to develop Afghanistan’s economy: “the pursuit of market-driven, private sector led growth, combined with significant investment in human capacity, physical infrastructure, legal reform, and institution building.” The Ambassador also encouraged his audience to invest in a variety of Afghanistan’s sectors including natural resources, telecommunications, food processing, and carpet production. The speakers also discussed higher education and institution building with a special focus on how agricultural colleges in the US can facilitate growth and development of the agriculture sector in Afghanistan.
Soccer Girls Team Wins Arthur Ashe Courage Award
of Ambassador Jawad, Mrs. Shamim Jawad, hosted a luncheon talk on
behalf of Innocents at Risk, a non-profit organization working to
combat child trafficking around the world, on June 6. The event
featured remarks on global human trafficking issues by
Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula
Dobriansky. Founder Deborah Sigmund highlighted the different people
and organizations that had joined together to combat human
trafficking around the world. Mrs. Jawad spoke about the need to
help vulnerable children. “Over two million children are trafficked
worldwide, hundreds kidnapped every day. Whether in the United
States, Eastern Europe, the Middle East or Afghanistan, women and
children are all equally deserving of protection,” she said.
Counselor Ashraf Haidari joined US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Richard Douglus to address the first graduating class of Afghan pilots
on June 3 from a training program in Fort Bliss, Texas. Sixteen Afghan
soldiers are now trained to fly MI-17 helicopters in anti-drug missions.
“Today, I personally feel happy, happy because with your graduation,
Afghanistan and the world have gained more strength in the fight against
humanity’s most destructive enemy: narcotics,” Haidari told the pilots.
“Narco-terrorism is not only threatening our new democracy but also
endangering international stability” he added. Since his election as
Chairman of the Interim Administration in 2001, President Hamid Karzai
has been warning, “If we do not eliminate drugs, drugs will eliminate
us.” The President’s statement sums up the need for the international
community to cooperate more closely in the fight against drugs. Failure
to do so will harm producing and consuming countries alike, while narco-terrorism
will threaten the security of every nation.
Embassy and the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) hosted the
second of four 2006 Business Dialogues on June 15.
World Bank Senior
Procurement Specialist Elzbieta Sieminska presented
procedures to the private sector representatives on how to bid for
reconstruction and development contracts. In addition to the World
Bank’s procurement page, she offered
www.dgmarket.com as a way to track opportunities for the World
Bank-financed programs in Afghanistan. In April, the series was kicked
off by a similar procurement and contracting event highlighting the
USAID process. Upcoming Business Dialogue events include “Opportunities
in Afghanistan’s Energy Sector” on September 14 and “Afghanistan’s
Privatization Program” on December 7. Please contact the Commerce
Department at the Embassy for more information.
Investing in Afghanistan
Resource Group, Inc. (IRG) and the
World Trade Center Buffalo
Niagara (WTCBN) will host Acting Commercial Attaché Khaleda Atta to
speak on investment in Afghanistan on July 25. The nine-county
Greater Rochester area is an international trade hub, exporting more
than $12 billion to 165 countries last year alone. Large companies
in the area such as Kodak, Xerox and Bausch & Lomb, continue to
expand exports overseas, while smaller companies routinely send a
variety of products abroad. “Investing in Afghanistan…the Heart of
Asia,” will take place at the Strathallan Hotel in Rochester, New
York, at 11:30 am. To register for the luncheon, contact the IRG
directly at email@example.com.
During June 12-14, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) sponsored a Central Asia Power Sector Forum entitled “Electricity Beyond Borders” in Istanbul, Turkey. This follows on the heels of the Central Asia Infrastructure Integration Initiative launched in October 2005 in an effort to economically integrate Central Asia through energy trade. Afghan Minister of Water and Energy Ismael Khan gave an overview presentation on the electric power sector in Afghanistan. He was followed by Deputy Minister of Water and Energy Dr. M. Jalil Shams’ comments on the North East Power System and the Sherberghan Power Plant. USTDA awarded an $800,000 grant to the Ministry of Energy of Tajikistan to fund early investment analysis on developing Central Asia’s electric power transmission and generation capacity to export power. Specifically, the project will evaluate options for Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to export their excess electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan. For further information on USTDA programs in Afghanistan please visit their website.
June 10-24 the U.S. Department of State sponsored a group of 30
international youth soccer players representing 15 different countries,
including Afghanistan. The delegation members are part of a World Cup
Youth Delegation program bringing together young athletes from around
the world. The delegation also traveled to Germany to attend games for
the 2006 Men’s World Cup. While in the States the delegation meet
President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice,
Under-Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes.
Another youth soccer initiative that kicked off this month in Kabul was
sponsored by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
UNAMA worked with their staff to buy and donate soccer balls, which was
distributed to Afghan students after a UNAMA coaching team visited
Franco-Afghan Chamber of Commerce and the MEWA Association
(Mobilization for Elected Women in Afghanistan) organized a
conference on that brought together Afghan women parliamentarians
and their French counterparts. US ambassador to France Craig Roberts
Stapleton hosted the 30 Afghan women at his residence as part of the
festivities. Additionally, State Department Senior Coordinator for
International Women’s Issues Steven E. Steiner spoke at the
conference and acknowledged France’s important participation in
Afghanistan’s reconstruction, including their commitment of 1,300
troops. He emphasized that Afghanistan’s development requires the
economic, political, and social empowerment of Afghan women.
Of the many opportunities available to qualified Afghans who want to be active participants in their nation’s reconstruction, RTI International offers a new way for Afghan-Americans to make an impact. An independent, nonprofit, corporation that has become a premier research institute, RTI’s mission is to assist developing and democratizing countries with complex issues of public health, education, governance and management, urban development, environmental resource management, public finance and economic growth. RTI is currently bidding on a USAID project designed to build institutional capacity for Afghan public institutions, private for-profit businesses, NGOs and academic institutions. This type of sustainable development within Afghanistan’s economic, social and political spheres is vital to Afghanistan’s long-term survival as a country. Several posts in RTI’s programs including Deputy Chief of Party, provincial team leaders, trainers, and gender specialists are available. For more information, please contact Dr. Sam Taddesse at firstname.lastname@example.org
Political Counselor Ashraf Haidari addressed Wabash College alumni and faculty on "The Challenges of State Building in Afghanistan" on June 2 in Crawfordsville, Indiana. "Our challenges are very clear," Haidari said as he described increased attacks in Afghanistan’s southern provinces. With Afghan troops and police undermanned and poorly equipped, and terrorists pouring over the border from camps in neighboring Afghanistan, a security vacuum has developed. The Taliban are filling the gap. “The Taliban were not captured or killed one-by-one," Haidari said of the US efforts to drive the regime from Afghanistan. "They were dispersed into Pakistan. Now the Taliban and Al-Qaeda are joining terrorists from other countries to fight the coalition forces,” he said. "Government troops have old weapons, and are no match for well-equipped terrorists, who are acquiring advanced weapons and better communications systems from abroad. They are attacking soft targets and run back into safe sanctuaries across the border,” he added. A thriving drug trade also is fueling Taliban efforts. "Afghanistan’s drug problem is the result of thirty years of war and destruction, and we are keenly aware of the nexus between extreme poverty and poppy cultivation. We have made every effort to enhance human security as a long-term solution to drug elimination in Afghanistan,” Haidari said.
Society of Afghan Engineers (SAE) and the Society of Afghan
Architects and Engineers (SAAE) will be hosting an international
conference in Kabul entitled Management Practices for Afghan
Professionals: The Engineering of Infrastructure, Resources and
Human Development during December 23-25, 2006. While the date and
location are being finalized, papers, presentations, and workshop
proposals are being accepted for submission to the conference.
Requested topics include: