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Ambassador Jawad Discusses Afghanistan’s Partnership with the U.S. in Jacksonville

On November 4, Ambassador Said T. Jawad traveled to Jacksonville, Florida to address the city’s World Affair Council. Alongside his wife Shamim, Ambassador Jawad was given a tour of Jacksonville by his gracious hosts, Ambassador Marilyn McAfee, and Admiral Jonathan T. Howe, USN (Ret), Ronald and Sue Myers and Jim and Mary Winston. That evening, the Ambassador attended a performance by the Jacksonville Symphony and met with conductor Fabio Mechetti. The next morning, the Ambassador was invited by Jacksonville Jaguars football team owners Wayne and Delores Weaver to watch the Jacksonville Jaguars play the Tennessee Titans. Mrs. Jawad toured the Wolfson Children’s hospital, where two Afghan children are being treated for congenital heart defects and expressed her gratitude for the efforts of the University of Florida physicians who donated their services to care for the young boys.

On November 6, Ambassador Jawad spoke at a Town Forum co-hosted by the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville and the University of North Florida. The Ambassador was given a kind introduction by Congressman Ander Crenshaw, who also participated in the discussion. The Ambassador assured the Jacksonville residents in attendance that the Afghan people support the continued engagement of the international community, and reiterated the strong partnership between the United States and Afghanistan. Commenting on President Karzai’s “Clear, Hold and Build Strategy” for winning the war in Afghanistan, he said, “We are fighting terrorism as a phenomenon along with fighting terrorists as individuals. First, the countryside will be cleared of terrorists through large scale, periodic military operations. Next, a compact and highly mobile international military force will work with our national army and local government authorities to hold the area and respond to daily terrorist attacks. In the long term, increased resources will allow Afghan police to be present twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to hold and defend the population. Last, where we are present, we must build. To keep the trust and support of ordinary citizens, we must work together to implement reconstruction in the countryside and improve the daily lives of civilians. This improvement of daily life for our most vulnerable citizens is what we mean by fighting terrorism as a phenomenon.”

In the evening the Ambassador addressed the Jacksonville World Affairs Council at the Ambassador’s Circle Dinner series at Jaxport. The purpose of the event was to recognize Afghanistan’s courageous and democratic leadership and the importance of the challenges that Americans and Afghans continue to face together five years after September 11th. Mayor John Peyton awarded Ambassador Jawad the key to the city. The Ambassador thanked the numerous Navy, Coast Guard and National Guard commanders in attendance for their service and discussed Afghanistan’s plan to fight against terrorism and narcotics. “The Afghan people and President Karzai are determined to stay the course and, in partnership with the United States and the international community, show Al Qaeda and the Taliban that Afghanistan will not be turned back into a sanctuary for terrorists, not today, not tomorrow, not ever,” he said.

Upon his return from Florida, the Ambassador commented on the warmth of the community and the wealth of knowledge that the World Affairs Council membership and leaders bring to their discussions of foreign affairs.


Click here to read the Ambassador's full speech

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