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Afghan President Hamid Karzai Visits the Netherlands

Afghan President Hamid Karzai stopped in the Netherlands this week en route to a conference for international donors in Paris. The president lunched with Queen Beatrix and had meetings with Dutch officials.

The Dutch have a 1,770 man contingent in ISAF, the NATO mission to Afghanistan, and have given generously to the country’s reconstruction efforts. President Karzai praised the efforts of the Dutch troops saying their work has allowed the reconstruction to continue.

"Health is better for the Afghan people. Thousands of women, who had never seen a clinic in Afghanistan, today have the possibility of maternity care. Thousands of Afghan children who have never seen a school and who would have never seen it without your help, today can attend school. Today we have nearly six million Afghan boys and girls attending school; especially in Uruzgan, where you are serving," he said.

President Karzai met with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, Development Coordination Minister Bert Koenders, and Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop.

After visiting the Netherlands, President Karzai continued on to Paris where he attended a conference of governments and aid agencies to coordinate financial aid strategies in Afghanistan.

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