Kabul, Afghanistan – Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a high-level bipartisan Congressional delegation have concluded a visit to Afghanistan, meeting with President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, top U.S. military commanders and diplomats, senior Afghan government officials and civil society leaders. The delegation also traveled to Camp Morehead to meet with Resolute Support Mission troops. Speaker Pelosi released the following statement:
“Today, our bipartisan Congressional delegation completed a visit to Afghanistan focused on security, governance and economic development.
“Our delegation received briefings from Ambassador John Bass and other top diplomats on reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, which has been responsible for violent attacks in Afghanistan. We also heard more about the still-pending status of results from the Afghanistan presidential election in September, which we all hope will be available soon.
“We were pleased to meet with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and other senior Afghanistan government officials to discuss security issues, improving governance and economic development. Our delegation emphasized the central importance of combating the corruption which endangers security and undermines the Afghan people’s ability to achieve a stable and prosperous future. We underscored that the women of Afghanistan must be at the table for reconciliation talks.
“It was a great honor for our bipartisan delegation to bring the thanks of the United States Congress to our heroic men and women serving on the front line in Afghanistan. We received operational briefings from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan commanding officer General Austin Miller and Resolute Support Mission leadership. We traveled to Camp Morehead to meet with our troops and their Afghan security forces counterparts. We were pleased that our delegation was able to briefly compare notes with Defense Secretary Esper, who was also visiting Afghanistan.
“In addition, our delegation had the opportunity to meet with civil society leaders in Afghanistan, including Afghan women. While Afghan women have made some progress in some areas, more work is need to ensure their security and durable economic and educational opportunities for women and girls in Afghanistan.
“Meeting with and hearing directly from our troops and diplomats on the ground is essential for Congress to conduct effective oversight of our mission in Afghanistan. We will return to Washington strengthened with the facts and the first-hand knowledge we have gathered at this critical time for our nation’s Afghanistan policy and inspired by the courage of our servicemembers and diplomats on the front lines.”
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