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Canadian Parliament Welcomes President Karzai

On September 22, President Karzai addressed the Canadian Parliament and thanked the Canadian people for sending their sons and daughters to secure Afghanistan. The President said that the international military presence in Afghanistan is making both Afghanistan and the world a safer place. He cited progress in Afghanistan’s education and health sectors, the economy and in the building of key democratic institutions. “Canada has made a tremendous difference in the lives if millions of Afghans already. Your country is helping us on a daily basis. Canadian troops are defending security and peace and the basics of life for Afghan children,” he said. The President joined Prime Minister Harper, Defense Minister Gordon O'Connor and General Rick Hillier, the military chief of staff, among other dignitaries as he inspected a military honor guard consisting of soldiers who have served in Afghanistan. A military band played the Canadian and Afghan national anthems. Canada recently announced that it was sending 200 more troops and a squadron of heavy tanks to Afghanistan. Canada’s Parliament has agreed for troops to stay until 2009, and Canada has aid commitments to 2011. “Canada does not leave other countries until our work is done,” said Prime Minister Harper.



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