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News and Views

Ambassador Jawad Speaks to The New Republic

On June 22 Ambassador Said T. Jawad spoke to the editorial board and staff of The New Republic, a progressive magazine of politics and the arts founded in 1914. During remarks and discussion, Ambassador Jawad spoke of the Obama administration's new strategy for Afghanistan, regional relations and the coming presidential elections.

Ambassador Jawad also took part in an interview with TNRtv, where he spoke of the immediate need to take steps to minimize civilian casualties. "We have to keep the civilians on our side if we want to win this war against a very brutal enemy," he noted.

Ambassador Jawad also spoke of the Iranian elections, the possibility that Al Qaeda could acquire nuclear weapons and the process of engaging the Taliban. Speaking on Iran, Ambassador Jawad responded to criticisms of President Hamid Karzai's response to the Iranian elections by noting that Afghanistan is located in a difficult neighborhood. "We have to choose a very careful foreign policy," he argued. "We have tried to convince Tehran and Washington to leave their differences out of Afghanistan, because we have paid a price for it."

On engagement with the Taliban, Ambassador Jawad described three groups of Taliban, two of which -- the mercenaries and the foot soldiers -- the government can engage with on different levels. The foot soldiers, which represent the majority of the group, need to be offered alternatives in the form of education and jobs, he pointed out.

In closing the interview, Ambassador Jawad stressed that while an there is a global economic crisis, the U.S. should not sacrifice long-term strategic objectives in Afghanistan for short-term gains. The interview can be viewed here.

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