US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledges support for Afghanistan

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hillary Rodham Clinton.

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in remarks made at a meeting with officials from Afghanistan, said that the US would continue to support Afghanistan even after the withdrawal of US troops from the country next summer.

Clinton made her statements at the beginning of a meeting between US and Afghan officials in Washington DC to forge a plan on how to handle the conflict with the Taliban in the future. The talks are intended to mend some of the disagreements between the governments of the two countries, which have been in conflict with each other in the past; the US has claimed the Afghan government is corrupt and Afghan president Hamid Karzai has accused the US of giving his government insufficient support.

In her speech, Clinton played down concerns that a sudden US exit from Afghanistan could lead to the Afghan government forging agreements with the Taliban in response, an action that has been threatened by Karzai. Clinton said that "As we look towards a responsible orderly transition in the international combat mission in Afghanistan, we will not abandon the Afghan people. Our civilian commitment will remain long into the future."

Karzai, in his statements, acknowledged differences between the two governments, saying that "As two mature nations and two mature governments — by now the Afghan government is mature, too — we will be having disagreements from time to time." Even as they acknowledged differences in views, both Clinton and Karzai stressed the accomplishments both countries have achieved.

Clinton said that "The ability to disagree on issues of importance to our respective countries and peoples is not an obstacle to achieving our shared objectives. Rather, it reflects a level of trust that is essential to any meaningful dialogue and enduring strategic partnership."