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On Tuesday, President Obama presented an overview of our country’s strategy for engagement in Afghanistan and with Pakistan. This strategy is the product of broad consultation, including with many of our partners in Afghanistan. As President Obama described, the United States is committed to Afghanistan’s long-term security and stability. Together with our allies, we will pursue a coordinated military and civilian approach to strengthening Afghanistan’s government, promoting economic growth, and defeating the insurgents who threaten the stability of your country and the region.
As President Karzai begins his second term, we have a window of opportunity to work together as partners to improve Afghanistan’s government to make it more capable, accountable, and effective so it better serves you, the Afghan people. We seek to improve access to education and justice, to strengthen the rule of law and improve governance, and most importantly, to widen economic opportunity and increase jobs so people have the chance to support their families.
We want to help the Afghan people make the move from poppies to pomegranates so Afghanistan can regain its place as an agricultural leader in South Asia. We want to support Afghanistan’s efforts to provide for your own security. And we want to help Afghans disrupt, dismantle, and defeat the violent extremist groups that seek to transform Afghanistan into a safe haven for insurgents and terrorists.
We know that the Afghan people are the only ones who can defeat the insurgency once and for all, and you’re the only ones who can build a successful democracy that lasts. So the United States is committed to partnering with you, the people of Afghanistan, over the long term as you seek to achieve these goals and build a country that is safe and secure, where your children can live in peace, where families can plan for a better future, and where all people have the opportunity to make the most of your potential. We look forward to working with you for that better future.
Thank you very much.