With its commitment to strengthen Afghanistan’s institutions, the United States of America today announced that Afghanistan is officially designated as its major non-NATO ally.
In her remarks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the security situation of Afghanistan is more stable.
She cites the Afghan National Security Forces are improving their capacity to protect the Afghan people.
The Afghans are in the process of taking the lead in more than 75 percent of the population’s living areas in order to provide security, she cited.
“And at the NATO Summit in Chicago, the international community made pledges to assist the continuing growth and development of the security forces.” -Ms. Clinton
She notes that the Government of Afghanistan has signed partnership agreements with many countries, and the United States is among those.
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.
“And I am pleased to announce today that President Obama has officially designated Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally of the United States.” -Ms. Clinton
The US government sees this alliance as a powerful symbol of its commitment to Afghanistan’s future.
She announces that later this year, Ms. Clinton is looking forward to convening, along with Foreign Minister Rassoul, the new U.S.-Afghanistan bilateral commission to intensify our cooperation.
US-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement is not aimed at any other country, she noted.
“Our goal is to work with the region and the international community to strengthen Afghanistan’s institutions so that the transition is successful and the Afghan people themselves can take responsibility.” -Ms. Clinton
And the future of Afghanistan will be safer and more secure so that little boys and little girls can grow up in peace and stability and enjoy a better opportunity, she stressed.
She cites that both nations will also make sure together that it is no longer a safe haven for al-Qaida or any other international terrorists who threaten Afghanistan, the region, the United States, in fact, the world.
Ms. Clinton pointed out that the progress that’s been made, the new schools that have been built, the improvements in healthcare, the legal protections for Afghan citizens, she says there is much for the Afghan people to be very pleased about because it is their efforts that have brought about these changes.
The United States wants to continue to invest in doing what the Afghans believe they need.
She announces that she will go to Tokyo together to discuss the next stages for investment in what’s being called the transformation decade.
The United States will continue to protect Afghanistan from any efforts by insurgents and outsiders to destabilize Afghanistan.
“And we also remain committed to Afghan reconciliation.” -Ms. Clinton
The US government has supported President Karzai in his effort to have an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led reconciliation process.
Ms. Clinton cites that Afghanistan has an agenda ahead of itself to make key economic reforms, to fight corruption, to strengthen the rule of law, to attract more trade and investment.
She commends President Karzai for his strong public pledges to stamp out corruption and build institutions that will be critical for Afghanistan’s future.
The US government wants to see Afghanistan be the center of a region of greater communication between countries and people, more trade and investment, a kind of New Silk Road that will bring more economic opportunity not only to Afghanistan, but to the entire region.
“So my message today is very simple: The transition is on track, Afghanistan is standing up for itself, of course it will need support.” -Ms. Clinton
The US government pledges to continue its support and to work with the Afghans to get more international support, Ms. Clinton stressed.
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.
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.