Statement Between the United States of America and Afghanistan
February 27, 2003
President Bush and President Karzai reaffirm their common vision for an Afghanistan
that is prosperous, democratic, at peace, contributing to regional stability,
market friendly, and respectful of human rights. They affirm their ironclad
and lasting partnership in pursuit of this vision, and will work together to
ensure that Afghanistan is never again a haven for terrorists and that no resurgence
of terrorism threatens Afghanistan
The United States has demonstrated its commitment to Afghanistan, providing
U.S. forces to combat terror and secure stability, and granting over $900 million
in assistance since 2001. Working together, Afghans, Americans, and our international
partners have made great progress in ridding Afghanistan of Al Qaida and Taliban
elements. We averted famine for some 7 million Afghans last year, and have begun
the essential and challenging work of rebuilding after decades of dictatorship,
war, and extremism. As a sign of confidence in the future, some 2 million refugees
have returned to Afghanistan over the past year. But much remains to be done.
This year will mark a shift toward long-term reconstruction projects and the
rebuilding of Afghan institutions. The United States will be a full partner
in this transition, helping to secure stability and supporting reconstruction
throughout the country, including roads, schools, clinics, and agriculture.
We will continue our work together, with other partners, to gather the resources
that will hasten the day when all Afghans lead prosperous and secure lives.
President Karzai has declared 2003 to be a year of national institution building
for Afghanistan, a year when the economic and social benefits of peace are extended
throughout the country.
Afghans are enjoying newfound freedoms and hope for a brighter tomorrow. The
United States will work with Afghanistan to extend the accomplishments of the
Bonn Accord of December 2001 and the Emergency Loya Jirga of June 2002 so that
Afghans can build a democratic, constitutional government within the context
of Afghanistan's unique culture and history.
The United States military will continue with its primary mission to prevent
terrorist elements from undermining the security environment, while also building
the Afghan national army -- a central priority for both governments -- and facilitating
reconstruction. President Karzai strongly favors the creation by the United
States and other coalition partners of a number of Provincial Reconstruction
Teams that will work closely with Afghan government ministries, UN agencies,
and NGOs in advancing common reconstruction objectives while also working with
the graduate battalions of the Afghan National Army to advance the mission of
enhancing security nationwide.
President Bush reaffirms that the United States will continue to be a full partner
in Afghanistan's reconstruction and, with the support of Congress, continue
with a comprehensive program of U.S. assistance to Afghanistan at levels commensurate
with the past. To support President Karzai's goal of seeing a transition to
broad-based reconstruction efforts, the United States will focus its efforts
on particular projects in the areas of transportation, agriculture, education,
The United States has committed $80 million to the rebuilding of the Kabul-Kandahar-Herat
road -- Afghanistan's main transportation artery. Japan and Saudi Arabia are
joining us in this project. The United States, in partnership with Norway, will
also provide $12 million to build a bridge over the river between Afghanistan
and Tajikistan, forming a key road link.
Agricultural projects will include a package of irrigation programs, including
$6 million to assist Afghanistan in managing water systems that are already
being repaired under cash-for-work programs and a $15 million project to
restore irrigation systems and other essential services.
In the area of education, the United States is initiating a $60 million program
to build or repair 1000 schools, print 15 million textbooks, train 30,000 teachers,
and offer accelerated learning programs to 60,000 students.
Health is also a priority sector for U.S. assistance, with $133 million planned
for a three-year program that will construct or rehabilitate 550 primary health
care centers, expand access to health services in rural areas, and address the
basic health care needs of women and children.
The United States and Afghanistan will work together toward that day when Afghanistan
is fully secure and self-sufficient. In Afghanistan as elsewhere, the United
States covets no resources and seeks no special advantage. President Bush and
President Karzai reaffirm the bond of friendship that unites the peoples of
America and Afghanistan in the common pursuit of a safer, freer, and more prosperous
world for the benefit of all.