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Afghanistan Congratulates President-Elect Obama

President Hamid Karzai and Ambassador Said T. Jawad today congratulated President- and Vice President-elect Barack Obama and Joseph Biden for their victory in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. "The election of Barack Obama to the presidency is a truly historic event. His candidacy has generated tremendous enthusiasm, and energized many young people in the United States and all over the world," said Ambassador Jawad.

In a statement, President Hamid Karzai said, "Today the people of the United States of America by the election they conducted and by electing Senator Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States have taken themselves and the rest of the world with them into a new era, an era where race, color and ethnicity I hope will disappear as a factor in politics in the rest of the world. This is great sign of the wisdom and humanness of the American people and I hope we and the rest of the world in—particularly in our own country Afghanistan—follow in those footsteps."

Ambassador Jawad praised Senator Obama's firm commitment to reconstruction of Afghanistan and stabilization of the region. "Throughout his campaign, Senator Obama spoke frankly about the challenges that Afghanistan, the United States, and our common allies face, and promised more resources to consolidate my country's democratic gains. We appreciate his very clear position on fighting terrorism and extremism in and around Afghanistan," he said.

President Karzai expressed optimism for future relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan, saying, "[I] hope that this election and President Obama's coming into office will bring peace to Afghanistan and prosperity to the Afghan people and to the rest of the world. I look forward to working with them, and the Afghan people will continue to appreciate the assistance of the American people. I will continue to work with them to do what is right for us and for the rest of the world."

"Senator Obama recognizes the importance of an integrated strategy that relates not only to military operations, but also the need for political and economic resources to achieve our shared objectives of peace, prosperity and pluralism," said Ambassador Jawad. "We welcome the support that Senator Obama has expressed for a greater focus on institutional capacity-building both in the center and on the local level so that our Government's effective presence is further established throughout Afghanistan to protect and deliver services to the Afghan people," he added.

Ambassador Jawad also praised the high level of experience and expertise on international issues that Senator Joseph Biden will bring to the vice presidency. "In his role as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Vice President-elect has been a committed friend of Afghanistan, and was the first US senator to travel to Afghanistan and to meet our President in January 2002. He is very knowledgeable about the current situation in the country and the region, and has specific plans to secure Afghanistan," he said.

Looking towards the future, Ambassador Jawad expressed strong optimism over the continuing strategic partnership between the United States and Afghanistan. "We look forward to working with the Obama-Biden Administration to consolidate our bond of friendship for the benefit of both our countries and for a more secure world," he noted.

President Karzai and Ambassador Jawad thanked Senator John McCain for his many years of outstanding record of fighting for freedom and serving his country, calling him "a national hero of the United States and a long-standing friend of Afghanistan."

Full Statement - President Hamid Karzai Congratulates President-Elect Obama

Full Statement - Ambassador Jawad Congratulates President-Elect Obama

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