Statement with Afghan Chairman Hamid Karzai
January 28, 2002
President Bush and Chairman Karzai commit to build a lasting partnership for
the 21st century, determined to fight terrorism, and ensure security, stability
and reconstruction for Afghanistan, and foster representative and accountable
government for all Afghan women and men.
We stand together for a new and better future for Afghanistan -- a future free
from terror, war, and want. We pledge our respect for the culture and traditions
of the different peoples of Afghanistan, and for the great religion of Islam,
which has been tragically distorted and misused by the Taliban.
We reaffirm our commitment to continue to work together to rout out the remnants
of the Taliban and Al Qaida network. The United States and Afghanistan stand
united in our determination that Afghanistan will never again become a training
ground for global terror. We are equally determined that Afghanistan's tragic
experience -- where terrorists were allowed to hold an entire nation hostage
-- will not be repeated or replicated anywhere in the world.
The United States and Afghanistan share the belief that a secure, stable Afghanistan,
at peace with its neighbors, is critical to achieving our shared goals. We agree
that a lasting, permanent solution for Afghanistan's security needs must be
based on strengthening Afghanistan's own capacities.
We agree that the United States will work with Afghanistan's friends in the
international community to help Afghanistan stand up and train a national military
and police, as well as address Afghanistan's short-term security needs, including
through demining assistance.
We further agree to continue to support the mission of the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) to help promote security in Afghanistan. Chairman Karzai
asked President Bush, on behalf of the Afghan people to consider supporting
an extension and expansion of the ISAF.
Recognizing that representative and accountable national government is vital
for Afghanistan to achieve stability, national reconciliation, and reconstruction,
we reaffirm our shared determination to support the Bonn Agreement for a political
transition process in Afghanistan over the next two years. Both sides recognize
the importance of adhering strictly to the agreement's timetable.
We agree to support collaborative programs to strengthen Afghan civic institutions,
working through Afghan and American NGOs to build and strengthen political structures,
independent media, human rights protections, labor unions, accountability and
We also agree to launch a joint U.S.-Afghanistan Women's Council to promote
private/public partnerships and mobilize resources to ensure women can gain
the skills and education deprived them under years of Taliban mis-rule.
The United States and Afghanistan further agree that the Voice of America will
expand its broadcast of Afghan news throughout Afghanistan as VOA and international
partners work with Afghanistan to develop its own media capacity.
We both welcome the role of the United States in helping with Afghanistan's
reconstruction, including the initial American contribution of nearly $297 million
for Afghanistan's critical reconstruction and the transfer of $223 million in
previously frozen Afghan assets.
We affirm our determination to move quickly to help Afghanistan create jobs
and start rebuilding Afghanistan's agricultural sector, its health care and
educational systems. Concrete examples of programs, in addition to our current
humanitarian aid program and contributions to large infrastructure projects,
that will have immediate impact are to:
- print and distribute nearly 10 million textbooks in Dari and Pashtu, focused
on math, reading and science, in time for the official start of the Afghan school
year in March;
- provide basic training for 4,000 teachers, at least half of whom are women;
- vaccinate 2.2 million Afghan children against measles and set up primary care
community health clinics; and
- use $45 million in food-related programs to, in part, promote recovery by
providing food directly to teachers and students at school and food to workers
at project sites.
Our joint commitment to the development of Afghanistan's private sector will
be bolstered by an initial U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
$50 million line of credit to finance qualified U.S. private sector projects.
We are pleased to announce that in February OPIC, the Export-Import Bank, and
the U.S. Trade Development Agency, will conduct an investment assessment mission
to Afghanistan and that the Commerce Department will lead a private sector mission
to Afghanistan to help identify Afghanistan's investment needs and opportunities
for U.S. private sector participation in reconstruction.
We welcome a U.S. Department of Labor initiative to fund job generation and
training programs for ex-combatants and women.
Finally, we pledge to enhance understanding between the citizens of our two
countries by promoting people-to-people exchanges and cultural initiatives,
including through the Fulbright, International Visitor and Humphrey programs,
as well as through non-governmental organizations.
Recognizing that the Taliban destroyed several of Afghanistan's great historic
statues and cultural sites, we agreed to work together to help restore and preserve