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President Karzai Returns from Spain, Stresses Worldwide Cooperation for the Fight against Terrorism
Released by the Office of the Spokesman to the President Islamic Republic of Afghanistan


Presidential Palace, Kabul - H.E. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, returned today from his three-day visit to Madrid, Spain.

During his visit to Madrid, the President participated in the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security. The President addressed the Summit and stressed the need of worldwide cooperation to fight terrorism, as well as the strong commitment of the Afghan Government to fighting this threat. The President emphasized the importance of strengthening rule of law in poor countries as a means of ensuring that such countries do not become terrorist havens. The President also highlighted the strong desire of the Afghan people for democracy and the positive progress made by the country over the last three years.

The President held bilateral talks with H.M. Juan Carlos, King of Spain, H.E. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain, the Foreign and Defence Ministers of Spain, and with the President of Croatia. The President reiterated the gratitude of the Afghan people for their assistance in the security and reconstruction of Afghanistan. The President thanked the Spanish Government for creating a P.R.T. in Qala-e Naw, the capital of Badghis Province. The Afghan people deeply appreciate this assistance bringing reconstruction and security to one of the poorest parts of Afghanistan.

On March 11th, the President attended remembrance ceremonies of the March 11 2004 terrorist attacks in railway stations in Madrid, which caused around 180 deaths and injured 900 people. The President, with the Defence Minister of Spain, also paid respect to the 62 Spanish soldiers who died in a plane crash in Turkey, on their way back to Spain, after finishing their duty in Afghanistan.

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