As Afghans throughout the nation continue to mourn the loss of friends, family, coworkers, and loved ones in the horrific May 31 attack, I, along with all Americans, stand in unwavering solidarity with our Afghan brothers in the face of this evil act of terrorism. Our hearts go out to the families of the fallen and those injured in the attack. This tragedy has affected us all. I once again offer my deepest condolences to the families of all the victims of this cowardly act. Grief can be a powerful motivator and I urge all Afghans and the international community to come together during this painful time. Friday’s protests reflect the frustration of many Afghans. While peaceful demonstrations are welcome in a democracy, some narrow political elements used this opportunity to spark violence, resulting in more death and suffering, compounding the grief.
The enemy seeks to manipulate the people’s anger and sadness to create division and sow instability. Now is the time to stand unified and announce to the enemies loud and clear that Afghans, along with their international partners, will not allow cowards to break the Afghan resolve to achieve a prosperous, stable, and peaceful nation that they have long deserved. The enemies of Afghanistan cannot win. They will not win.
June 6 offers another opportunity to send that message, as the National Unity Government hosts an unprecedented multilateral gathering of regional stakeholders for the Kabul Process Conference to discuss security, peace and reconciliation, and economic development. The conference will be a visible reminder to all those who seek to harm Afghanistan that the Afghan people are never alone, especially in the wake of last week’s attack. As always, the United States, along with all of Afghanistan’s partners, remains shoulder-to-shoulder with our Afghan brothers and sisters in pursuit of a brighter tomorrow for all Afghans.