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Upon the Occasion of the Presentation of His Letter of Credence
Remarks by Ambassador Said T. Jawad


White House
12/04/2003

Remarks by
His Excellency Said T. Jawad
The Appointed Ambassador
of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan

Mr. President,

I am honored to present you the Letter of Credence, by which His Excellency Hamid Karzai, President of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan, has appointed me Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America, as well as the Letter of Recall of my predecessor.

It is my privilege to convey the warmest personal regards of President Hamid Karzai, as well as the heartfelt gratitude of the people of Afghanistan to you, Mr. President, and to the people of the United States of America. I am honored to stand before you at this historic juncture as we embark to accelerate, with your support, the successful process of solidifying peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan. We are grateful for the leadership provided by the United States of America in emancipating our country from the evil forces of terrorism, tyranny and Taliban. We cherish the close cooperation and enduring partnership forged between our two nations. Fostering the burgeoning partnership between our governments, and strengthening the historic friendship between our people is the main objective of Afghanistan’s foreign policy and my mission.

Mr. President, our nations are joined by common interests. Together, we have successfully fought two important battles in this century and the last. We first joined hands in defeating communism; we are now fighting side by side for a complete victory over international terrorism. Our two nations have been targeted and victimized by terrorism. My people know by excruciating experience that terrorism is a global enemy and a universal threat that requires a concerted global response. They whole-heartedly welcome and actively support the US- led war against terror. For the world, complete victory over the forces of terrorism, a menace to humanity, has only recently become an absolute priority. For us, complete and resolute defeat of terrorism was and is still the foremost matter of national interest. Our people are by your side, and we will remain a steadfast partner in the war against terrorism.

Mr. President, on the tragic day of September 11, 2001, the destinies of our countries were joined. Long before launching that evil attack on your country, Al Qaeda was destroying and terrorizing my home country and people. We were, thus, the prime victims of terror, as the tyrannical regime of the Taliban had invited Al Qaeda to base its campaign in our country. Thanks to American leadership and an international campaign to rout out this evil, the world is now a safer place, and Afghanistan’s sovereignty has rightfully returned to its people. As President Karzai said at the Ground Zero in New York: “We are, as before, very, very grateful for the help the United States of America gave to Afghanistan to liberate itself from the scourge, from the occupation of terrorism that murdered and killed and destroyed our country for so many years; that brought about the disaster in New York and your own country. The Afghan people continue to share that pain with you.”

A significant historic day for US-Afghan relations was your State of the Union address of 2002, Mr. President, as you introduced President Karzai as your guest of honor in the Capitol, and said “America and Afghanistan are now allies against terror. We’ll be partners in rebuilding that country.” This close partnership is growing. In February of this year, you and President Hamid Karzai reaffirmed your “common vision for an Afghanistan that is prosperous, democratic, at peace, contributing to regional stability, market friendly, and respectful of human rights”, and pledged to “work together to ensure that Afghanistan is never again a haven for terrorists and that no resurgence of terrorism threatens Afghanistan.”

While our common interest in fighting terrorism and strengthening peace and stability forms the bedrock of our partnership, our shared desire to build a constitutional state that guarantees the safety and security of its citizens, promotes democracy, protects human rights, advocates the rule of the law, and provides for sustained economic growth lays at the forefront of our friendship. Thanks to your assistance, in less than two years, we have taken many bold steps toward achieving our shared objectives.

After broad consultation with the people, the commission assigned to the historic task of drafting the new constitution, as the foundation of a modern state in Afghanistan, has completed its task. The draft will be submitted to the representatives of the people in the Loya Jirga, the Afghan Grand Council, in December for final deliberation and ratification. Political parties and civic organizations are being formed, and elections are scheduled for next year.

Today, hope, peace, education, and reconstruction are replacing despair, destruction, and violence as the prevailing reality in Afghanistan, thanks to your assistance. The Afghan women are particularly grateful for your support to improve their living conditions and enhance their rights. Tangible results of reconstruction and infrastructure building are visible throughout a country ravaged by 30 years of war and violence. More than 2.5 million refugees have now returned to their homes. Almost 4.2 million children, about 40 percent of whom are girls, are going to school. Highways are being reconstructed thanks to your personal attention, Mr. President. The economic growth rate is estimated to have reached 30% this year. A new currency, which is performing exceptionally well, has been launched, and new banking and investment laws have been adopted. From the flourishing urban centers to the remotest villages of Afghanistan, the reconstruction efforts are reaching the Afghan people.

Afghanistan is on the road to recovery. To sustain and enhance this process, the Afghan people urgently need and collectively demand continued partnership with, and sustained engagement by the United States of America. The additional funding provided to Afghanistan under the Accelerated Success Program, for which we are very grateful, will certainly expedite the nationwide process of establishing good governance, and providing self sufficiency and economic growth.

We are also very appreciative of the solid and univocal bipartisan support that our country receives from the United States Congress, and pleased to see that on our way to recovery we have great friends at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

On a personal note, Mr. President, I had the honor of accompanying President Karzai, as his Chief of Staff, on several occasions to the White House. I had the privilege of personally witnessing the very warm friendship you share with our President, and your personal commitment to peace and reconstruction in my country. In this spirit of cordial friendship and constant support, I look forward to working with your administration. Furthermore, having lived and worked in the United States for two decades, I have a warm personal affection for your great nation. I feel truly honored to stand here at the forefront of diplomatic relations between Afghanistan and the United States.


THE PRESIDENT’S REPLY
TO THE REMARKS OF THE
NEWLY APPOINTED AMBASSADOR
OF THE TRANSITIONAL ISLAMIC STATE OF AFGHANISTAN
SAID T. JAWAD
UPON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF
HIS LETTER OF CREDENCE

Mr. Ambassador:

I am pleased to accept your Letter of Credence from President Hamid Karzai, which establishes you as Ambassador Extraordinary Plenipotentiary of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan, and I acknowledge the Letter of Recall of your distinguished predecessor, Ishaq Shahryar. Thank you for your greetings on behalf of the government and the people of Afghanistan. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Washington.

The United States and Afghanistan have a unique partnership reaching across continents and cultures and are united in our common effort to defeat terrorism and to build a more secure and prosperous future for both the American and Afghan peoples. I am confident your arrival here will help to strengthen further the bond between our nations. Your professionalism and experience will serve the Afghan people well as you represent their interests in Washington.

Those interests, and those of the United States, are closely aligned. The United States has made an unbreakable commitment to the success of freedom in Afghanistan.

Success means an Afghanistan that never again becomes a base for terrorism and extremism, and that can stand on its own to reclaim its rightful place and prosper in the community of nations. It means an Afghanistan firmly committed to democratization and human rights. It also means an Afghanistan that can achieve increased economic progress through a vibrant free-market economy grounded in the country’s rich legacy in the heart of Asia. You and your countrymen know, all too well, that these are daunting challenges, but I assure you, you have a firm partner in the United States.

Your arrival comes at a key moment in our bilateral relationship. President Karzai and the citizens of Afghanistan are approaching a critical juncture in their efforts to establish the foundation for a free, prosperous and hopeful future when they adopt a new constitution establishing the framework for a representative, moderate government next month, and hold the first national elections under that constitution next year. It remains for all of us to assist President Karzai to ensure that the renewed hope of the Afghan people is realized, and the United States values our joint partnership in accomplishing those goals together.

Our nations already are engaged in close cooperation to reconstruct and rebuild Afghanistan. It is crucial that we now accelerate the international reconstruction effort in all spheres: political, economic and security. We value President Karzai’s leadership in addressing the challenges confronting Afghanistan today: terrorism, warlordism, narco-trafficking, economic disparity. We are pleased to devote over $1 billion this year to address these and other challenges. These new resources will help to accelerate the building of national institutions, such as the Afghan National Army and the National Police, in an effort to extend the reach of the central government and enhance security nationwide. We will continue to work with President Karzai and our Coalition partners to strengthen rule of law and governance. We will also accelerate efforts to help Afghans improve their quality of life, through more clinics, schools and other facilities, as well as encourage regional trade and business.

Working together to further our shared goals, we will cement the many bonds that already exist between our countries. Once again, Mr. Ambassador, I welcome you to Washington, and I wish you all the best during your tour as Ambassador of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan to the United States of America.