Remarks by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan CEO Abdullah Abdullah Before Their Meeting (April 9, 2016)

April 9, 2016

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER ABDULLAH: I welcome Secretary John Kerry, a friend of Afghanistan and of mine who is visiting Afghanistan on the occasion of the convening of the joint [bilateral] commission. Today, he had comprehensive meetings during the commission that covered all areas of bilateral and multilateral relations, as well as  mutual cooperation.  I extend my thanks to the United States for its commitment in extending its assistance to Afghanistan in the areas of security, political, and economic assistance, capacity building among women, and in all areas.  And we thank the United States for its long-term commitment in assisting with the security and stability of Afghanistan, and for its support to the national peace and reconciliation process.  As the CEO, I want to assure you that we are all still committed to our commitments to the Afghan people on good governance, electoral reforms, fighting corruption, and a joint effort to improve the livelihoods of the people and to make efforts toward peace.  In the areas of security challenges, we are committed to addressing that with the support and help of God and the Afghan people, as well as by the assistance of Afghanistan’s friends like the United States. I once again welcome him to Kabul. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: It’s a privilege for me to be able to visit with Dr. Abdullah again. I’m delighted to be here with this team. We are very appreciative for the joint effort of President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah to help at this critical moment for Afghanistan. What they are doing together is statesmanship at its best. Coming together requires a sacrifice by everybody in the interests of the country, and it’s not easy. We know that there are critics of both of them for doing this, but we believe this is the right thing for Afghanistan because it is going to help us – all of us together – to be able to implement the development programs, to do the anticorruption efforts, to build the election reform which was always a top priority of Dr. Abdullah. And that is the way Afghanistan is going to be transformed.

It is also, obviously, a key moment in terms of the security transition, as Afghans are now responsible for their own security. And we have a new relationship in terms of the training and assist and counterterrorism. So I am very grateful. I bring President Obama’s greetings to all Afghans and I bring President Obama’s gratitude for the great efforts that Dr. Abdullah and his team are making together with President Ghani and his to provide Afghans with the future that they need and desire.

So thank you very much. It’s good to be with you.