US Helps Afghanistan Stand Up and Take Control of Its Future
Saying that Afghanistan is currently managing three very significant transitions in terms of security, political, and economic, the United States of America today said it will continue to support the Afghan people in taking control of its future.
In his remarks with President Hamid Karzai after their meeting in Kabul in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State John Kerry says
the United States is committed to an enduring partnership with the Afghan people as they seek a secure and democratic nation.
"We mean it when we say that as Afghans stand up and take control of their country's future, they will not stand alone." - Secretary Kerry
He says the United States supports a strong and a united Afghanistan that secures its rightful place in the community of nations over the course of these next years.
US Helps Afghanistan manage its three transitions: security, political, economic
Karzai and U.S. President Barack Obama at a meeting at the NATO summit in November 2010. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
"And America will continue to support the Afghan people through all three of these transitions just as we agreed to do in the strategic partnership agreement and in the bilateral security agreement that we are currently negotiating." - Secretary Kerry
He says the US also supports the Afghan-led peace process, recognizing that the reconciliation is the best way to try to provide the surest end to violence and to secure a unified and a sovereign Afghanistan.
The US government continues to join with President Karzai in calling on the Taliban to join a political process, to renounce the violence and join in a political process.
US Committed to President Afghanistan's sovereignty
Secretary Kerry says Obama made it clear in his State of the Union message that US is committed to Afghanistan's sovereignty, and it will not let al-Qaida or the Taliban shake that commitment.
"The Afghan people ought to be proud that their security and their police force grow stronger and grow more capable by the day, including what the President referred to today with the transfer of the detention facility at Bagram." - Secretary Kerry
That is an appropriate restatement of America's commitment to the independent sovereignty of Afghanistan, Secretary Kerry said.
On Afghanistan's security transition
Secretary Kerry highlighted that with Afghanistan making progress in security transition, it will allow the United States and coalition troops to transition past the 2014 mission of training and advising.
An Anti-Taliban Forces (ATF) fighter wraps a bandolier of ammunition for his 7.62 mm PK machine gun around his body as ATF personnel help secure a compound in Helmand Province in Afghanistan, January 2002. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
"It is key that these security gains will be a lot less meaningful if they are not matched, as you have discussed with me tonight, by good elections as well as by political progress and transformation." - Secretary Kerry
US Supports Afghanistan's desire to conduct election
Secretary Kerry underlines that US welcomes the Afghan commitment, which is a reflection of the Afghan people's desire to conduct a credible, safe, secure, all-inclusive, and transparent, and accountable election.
Both countries have discussed ways about how the election can be carried out in the most effective manner.
The US is committed, together with the international community, to help Afghanistan have an election that the President has said will be beyond anybody's questions.
"It's our hope that this election is going to be a unifying moment for Afghanistan, and that it will represent, in a sense, the crowning achievement of the President's vision for Afghanistan." - Secretary Kerry
US Supports Afghanistan's economic transition
According to Secretary Kerry, the economic transition will ensure that the security transition and the political transition can both succeed.
He says reforms are still necessary in order to achieve that, and in order to integrate the Afghan economy with the broader region's economy.
He notes in the last decade, the GDP of Afghanistan has nearly quintupled.
Health facilities like hospitals have quadrupled and access to electricity has tripled, Secretary Kerry noted.
In addition, life expectancy is up 50 percent.
Secretary Kerry indicates a recent United Nations report showed that Afghanistan has made faster gains in human development over the last 10 years than any other country in the world.
Afghanistan moving closer to self-governing, to self-determination, self-reliance
According to Secretary Kerry, while fewer women are dying in childbirth, more of them have been elected to parliament, and more of their children, especially their daughters, are going to school.
He reports many more Afghans are connected through the air and on the ground, with access to technologies like cell phones rising.
And more roads have been built in the past 10 years than in the entire previous history of Afghanista.
He adds there's a lot of work yet to do, but with each of these steps, Afghanistan is moving closer to self-governing, to self-determination, self-reliance.
Afghanistan Expected to Take Full Responsibility for Its Security By 2014
With the recent announcement that 34,000 US troops will withdraw in Afghanistan, the United States of America today announced US goal is for Afghans to take full responsibility for their security by 2014
For the past decade, tens of billions of dollars in security-related spending have fueled consumption and economic growth in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia.
Since last November 2012, seven provinces and municipalities have already begun transition.
US pledges for long-term military commitment
US is negotiating a Strategic Partnership agreement that signals our long-term civil-military commitment.
US knows the cost of neglecting Afghanistan as well. The US will continue to support the sovereign rights of the people of Afghanistan.
US and Afghanistan Partnership
Both nations have worked together to set forth a long-term political, diplomatic, and security partnership, and it entered into force just a few days ago.
The US government sees this alliance as a powerful symbol of its commitment to Afghanistan's future.
The United States also wants to continue to invest in doing what the Afghans believe they need.
The United States will continue to protect Afghanistan from any efforts by insurgents and outsiders to destabilize Afghanistan.
The US government has supported President Karzai in his effort to have an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led reconciliation process.
In December 2011, the United States withdrew 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
July 2011 marked the beginning of a responsible transition that will see Afghan forces gradually taking the lead in securing their own country.
By 2014, the process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security.
The Afghan security forces move into the lead, the United States continues to reduce its military footprint. Its mission will change from combat to support. The remaining 23,000 "surge" troops in December 2009 will leave Afghanistan by the end of summer 2012.
The U.S. government has made significant progress towards their goals as well .
Reports say the U.S. government is redoubling its efforts to pursue a peaceful end to the conflict in the region.
The U.S. government has taken tangible steps to advance Afghan reconciliation and reintegration initiatives, including support to the Afghan High Peace Council and provincial police and reintegration councils.
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze.
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