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Government Press Release

Date of Release: 19 September 2006


President Karzai Discusses Afghanistan in New York


Arg, Kabul – H.E. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, arrived in the US on Sunday evening beginning his four day visit to New York.

On Monday president Karzai attended the High Level Symposium on Child Survival (MDG4) at UNICEF.  The president briefed the audience on Afghanistan's health and mortality problems and described the progress Afghanistan's health infrastructure has made in the last five years.  The President emphasized that those health problems that continue to affect the children and people of Afghanistan are preventable and can be drastically reduced with increased international resources and assistance.  

On Monday evening the President addressed the "Asia Society" on Afghanistan's progress in the past five years.  The President emphasized that the progress Afghanistan has made is a testament to the strong will of the Afghan people and their hope for a better future as well as the assistance of the international community.   He encouraged the international community to commit the resources necessary to rebuild those institutions that were destroyed or neglected in the past 30 years of war.  Building human capacity and strengthening Afghanistan's security institutions will lead to Afghanistan standing on its own feet.     

The President stated that the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan must encompass the regional sources of terrorist funding, indoctrination and training.  In the interest of global security Afghanistan's regional partners in the war on terror must be sincere in their commitments to root out the sources of terrorism.

In addition to his public engagements the President met with H.E. Ms. Tarja Halonen, President of Finland and Mr. George Soros, Chairman of the Open Society Institute.  In the meetings the President discussed Afghanistan's progress in the past five years, the war on terror and the need for the continued assistance to the rebuilding of the institutions of Afghanistan.

Today, the President will attend the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly, as well as a UN roundtable on democracy and a dinner for the Heads of Delegations hosted by H.E. George W. Bush, President of the United States of America. The President will also hold a bilateral meeting with H.E. Romano Prodi, Prime Minister of Italy and tour the New York Stock Exchange where he will ring the closing bell and discuss investment in Afghanistan with the NYSE's board of directors.  

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