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First Secretary Haidari Speaks at American Foreign Service Association


First Secretary M. Ashraf Haidari discussed Afghanistan’s role in the war on terror with an audience at the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) in Washington DC on March 2, 2007. He noted that before terrorism was identified as the main threat to international peace and security in 2001, “the terrorists had been occupying our country, victimizing our people, and destroying our treasured cultural heritage.” He reiterated Afghanistan’s role as the original front on the war on terror, and analyzed the globalization of security threats.

“As we know from 9/11, whatever happens in Afghanistan affects us here in the US and vice versa. So, today, the problem of cross-border narco-terrorism not only destabilizes Afghanistan and the region but also directly threatens the US national security.”  Secretary Haidari emphasized that the US was helping Afghanistan make progress towards a stable, prosperous, and drug-free country. In a recent speech at American Enterprise Institute, President Bush reviewed the achievements made in Afghanistan and pledged $11.8 million in security and reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan over the next two years. “Our people and government are thankful to this strategic recommitment,” Haidari said.

“We are glad that the US and our other partners understand Afghanistan’s interdependent sources of insecurity with local, regional and transnational dimensions. There is increasingly consensus that an integrated comprehensive approach is needed to address the security challenges in Afghanistan. Secretary Haidari noted that if such factors are not adequately addressed, they risk destabilizing the entire region and endangering international security. Secretary Haidari recommended bolstering governance and enabling Afghan government institutions to provide basic services to people to win hearts and minds, securing Pakistan’s sincere cooperation in dismantling the Taliban’s command and control network, revitalizing Afghanistan’s agricultural economy, and building the capacity of Afghan law enforcement institutions.

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