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Date of Release: 25 September 2006


President Karzai in Washington DC for Official Visit


Blair House, Washington DC – H.E. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is in Washington DC for his official visit to the United States.  

President Karzai arrived in Washington on Sunday, following his official visit to Canada. Upon his arrival, the President visited Walter Reed hospital and met with American soldiers injured while serving in Afghanistan.  He expressed the deep appreciation of the people of Afghanistan for their sacrifices

On Monday President Karzai met with John P Walters, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and H.E. Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary of Defense.

In his meeting with Mr. Walters, the President evaluated the current situation of the war against narcotics in Afghanistan.  He expressed the strong commitment of the Government of Afghanistan to take greater responsibility for eradication of poppy fields and interdiction and arrest of traffickers.  On the other hand, the international community must increase the resources available to formulate and implement a comprehensive alternative livelihoods program.

In his meeting with Secretary Rumsfeld, the President thanked the US government for its assistance to Afghanistan’s institution building and reconstruction over the past four years. They discussed Afghanistan’s numerous achievements, including the Parliamentary and Presidential elections, the drafting of the Afghan constitution and the return of over 4 million refugees.  Progress of the Afghan National Army and National Police and NATO’s operations in the south were also discussed.  The President praised US continued role with NATO.  Secretary Rumsfeld reiterated the long-term commitment of the United States government to supporting Afghanistan’s reconstruction and institution building.  In particular, he emphasized the need for strengthening Afghanistan’s national security institutions so that they could take on greater responsibility in the war against terrorism and creating a securing environment for the Afghan people.

Preceding the President’s meeting was a full Honor Guard ceremony on the Pentagon lawn, during which Afghanistan’s national anthem was played before a distinguished audience of Afghan and American officials.


Following his meeting with Secretary Rumsfeld, the President met with a group of high-level U.S. business executives who are part of the Businesses Building Bridges (BBB) initiative.  The executives included David Murdock, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dole Food Company, Inc.; Len Rodman, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Black & Veatch Corporation; Carol Bartz, Executive Chairman of the Board, Autodesk, Inc.; Barbara Barrett, Owner and President, Triple Creek Guest Ranch; Joie Gregor, Vice-Chairman, Heidrick and Struggles; Irv Bailey, Senior Advisor, Chrysalis Ventures; and Mike McCullough, former Chief Executive Officer, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.


The BBB initiative was launched on January 30, 2006 by President Karzai and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to highlight the importance of the private sector in Afghanistan’s reconstruction.  High-level U.S. business leaders were selected to offer strategic vision and guidance to Afghan leaders on how to activate private sector growth in their country.  The BBB leaders will develop a set of recommendations for the Afghan government on ways to aid and promote the private sector. The participants in today’s meeting discussed the private sector’s role in economic redevelopment. The President encouraged these corporations to pursue a relationship with Afghanistan’s business community. In the near future, the BBB delegation led by Robert Mosbacher, the President of OPIC and Daniel Sullivan, the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs will travel to Kabul to follow up on issues discussed during the meeting.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted President Karzai on Monday, where he spoke on the importance of international cooperation in Afghanistan.


Addressing terrorism the President said, “By far the biggest threat facing Afghanistan today is still terrorism.  Regrettably, despite their defeat in Afghanistan five years ago, terrorists have not been eliminated from the region…no matter how many battles we fight and win against terrorists on the Afghan soil, the war will only be won if we dismantle the sources of terrorism – its ideological, financial and military networks – outside our border. State elements relying on religious radicalism as an instrument of policy must be removed. We must close those terrorist hotbeds which call themselves Madrassas or religious schools. These schools do not teach religion but preach hatred and train suicide bombers.” 


The president highlighted the links between narcotics and terrorism and said, “Afghanistan is firmly committed to the fight against narcotics.  Just as fighting terrorism demands international cooperation, fighting narcotics requires the same, as both are transnational problems.  Strong and coordinated efforts across the international community are necessary to overcome these menaces.” 


On better governance the President stated that he is vigorously working on enhancing government oversight, especially at the local level, improving judiciary and taking strong anti-corruption measures.   By improving these inter-connected areas, the Afghan government will improve its capacity to deliver services to the population, improve security, and deepen the trust and confidence of the people in state institutions. 


The President concluded his remarks by emphasizing Afghanistan’s commitment to the global war against terror stating, “We have a joint vision for Afghanistan – a vision of prosperity, democracy and a dignified existence among the community of nations.  We Afghans have given great sacrifices in two of the world’s wars for freedom: the war against communism and the war against terrorism.  We will continue to partner with you in the future, but we expect that our friends will stand firm with us as we strengthen the foundation of our new democracy and strive for lasting peace and security today.”

On Monday evening the President was honored, through an official ceremony at the Gaston Hall, Georgetown University, with an honorary Doctorate of Laws, Honoris Causa.  President Karzai thanked Georgetown University and noted its partnership with Afghanistan and their initiatives to assist the health, education, and commerce and trade sectors.


I thank Georgetown University for being Afghanistan’s partner and friend. Over the last five years we have taken steps to rebuild a stable and pluralistic society.  From the Afghanistan Reconstruction Summits in 2002 and 2003 to the London Conference earlier this year, Georgetown and President DeGioia have been our friends every step of the way.”  


For further information, please contact:

Office of the Spokesman to the President

Tel.:  00 93 799 33 77 55

         00 93 799 909 429

Released by the Office of the Spokesman to the President

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

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