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Political Counselor Haidari Speaks at the USAID Swearing-In Ceremony

On behalf of Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad, Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari attended the swearing-in ceremony of Mr. William Frej, the new USAID Mission Director for Afghanistan, on May 08, 2009 at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C.

Speaking at the ceremony, Haidari congratulated Mr. Frej and his family on the new and critically important assignment he has been entrusted with. "Mr. Frej's assignment as USAID Mission Director for Afghanistan comes at a critical moment in our strategic partnership with the United States," said Haidari. He added, "Together, our two nations have made significant progress in helping build peace, create democratic government institutions, and implement thousands of reconstruction projects across Afghanistan."

Haidari appreciated the assistance the American taxpayers have provided to Afghanistan through USAID. "Like your men and women in uniform leading military efforts to secure Afghanistan, USAID and your dedicated staff have been at the forefront of international civilian efforts to provide for the human security of the Afghan people. We are deeply grateful for your services, and we are very thankful to the American taxpayers for their goodwill towards the Afghan people, and for their continued and generous support," said Haidari.

Moreover, Haidari noted, "Since 2001, President Karzai has frequently underlined the importance of increased but effective reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan. The President has repeatedly asked for assistance with building institutional capacity in our government, and for providing our young and enterprising population with vocational training and education." He pointed out that Afghans understood the importance of standing on their own if they hoped to rebuild and secure their country on the long run. Therefore, he said, "President Karzai has welcomed the new U.S. strategy with a focus on balancing security and development assistance, thereby enabling Afghans and our institutions to gradually drive the rebuilding of Afghanistan."

Haidari told Mr. Frej that he would be playing a leading role in the civilian surge currently underway, which is much expected to deliver results. "This is no easy undertaking. You deserve everyone's support here and in Afghanistan," he said. Haidari assured Mr. Frej that "the multiple Afghan Ministries that you will be dealing with, look forward to welcoming you to our country, and they look forward to supporting and working with you to achieve our common objectives. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul and our embassy in Washington, D.C. will always be there to support your efforts in any way we can."

Full Text of the Remarks (.PDF)


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