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Press Releases 2013

U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham Meets with Afghan Leaders at the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies

July 23, 2013

Kabul – On July, 23, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James B. Cunningham attended an event hosted by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS).  Among the attendees were representatives from Afghan Ministries, Members of Parliament, civil society leaders and Afghan media.

Ambassador Cunningham opened with a discussion of the gains achieved in Afghanistan and added that the next ten years are “a decade of opportunity for Afghans to build Afghanistan.”  He reminded the Afghan audience that they “will have lots of international help to do that.” 

Highlighting the long-term commitment of the United States to Afghanistan, Ambassador Cunningham addressed the Bilateral Security Agreement.  He said that post-2014 commitments reflect “a unique offer of partnership from the international community which my country is very proud to lead, but it’s an offer that must be taken up by the Afghans.” 

Ambassador Cunningham also emphasized the importance of the elections, calling them the “most important priority” and stating that the elections are “crucial for the future stability” of Afghanistan. 

When asked about the zero option Ambassador Cunningham responded that “the zero choice would not be a choice that we would want.”  He added that “we don’t think it’s in the interests of the Afghan people or of the United States.”   

Ambassador Cunningham ended by discussing the U.S. support for women, calling it a “core” issue for the U.S. in Afghanistan and around the world. In response to a question he said that “one of the outcomes of a political process has to be respect for the Afghan Constitution and the protections that it provides for human rights and for women’s rights.”

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