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Second Vice President Karim Khalili discusses Afghan Security during Visit to the U.S.


Second Vice President of Afghanistan Mohammad Karim Khalili traveled to the U.S. on an official visit from April 14-26. During the tenure of his visit, Vice President Khalili met with U.S. Vice President Cheney and several senior members of the U.S. Administration and Congress where he discussed on the ongoing international rebuilding effort in Afghanistan as well as the recent political and security developments in the country.

During his meeting with Vice President Cheney, Vice President Khalili conveyed the people and Government of Afghanistan’s appreciation for the continued support that the United States has provided in support for Afghanistan during the past six years.

Vice President Khalili pointed out to the joint achievements of the past six years and added that a long term U.S. and international commitment will be required for Afghanistan’s successful transition to a stable and secure democracy. He mentioned that overcoming poverty among the general populace will serve as an important pre requisite in effectively combating insecurity, narcotics and improving governance. Vice President Khalili mentioned that construction of roads into central Afghanistan would help to increase development, reconstruction projects and namely economic prosperity in several central provinces.

In an editorial board meeting with the Washington Times, Vice President Khalili welcomed the recent commitments by NATO member states in the Bucharest Summit to helping secure Afghanistan. He also pointed out the importance of building Afghanistan’s own national security forces to ensure the long-term stability of the country. Asked about the sources of instability in Afghanistan, the Vice President noted poverty, cross-border terrorism, drug production and trafficking, and weak governance as the key challenges facing Afghanistan and its international partners. He stressed that terrorism is a transnational phenomenon that should be collectively fought. Although the Taliban have been defeated in Afghanistan, the militants have been able to regroup outside the country’s borders where they need to be fought and defeated.

In his meeting with Under Secretary of Defense Gordon England, Vice President Khalili thanked the American forces in Afghanistan for helping maintain security in the country. He spoke about the progress jointly made in the reform of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police, and pointed out the importance of strengthening the two institutions further to defend Afghanistan against its enemies. The Vice President also noted the progress made in the Disbandment of the Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG), a process through which illegal armed militias have been disarmed.

Vice President Khalili also met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte, National Security Advisor Steven Hadley, the Afghanistan Directorate at the National Security Council as well as several ranking members of U.S. such Congress, Senator Chuck Hagel, Senator Joseph Lieberman, Senator John F. Kerry, Congressman Joe Wilson and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

Following his meetings in Washington, the Vice President traveled to Seattle and San Francisco, where he met with business and civic leaders.

In an interview with the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the Vice President said poverty and drug-financed terrorism remain the key challenges facing the Afghan government and the international community.

"There is a need for a world will to stand alongside of the Afghan people to fight against the smuggling and cultivation of narcotics," he said. He described the last six years as "unprecedented" in Afghan history, and cited significant improvements in health, infrastructure, public policies and democracy.

"We have an elected president, elected parliament, a democratic open society, a huge number of media, freedom of speech," he said.

The Vice President came to the U.S. at the invitation of the Afghanistan National Institute for Peace and Justice in Kabul.

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