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Rumsfeld Makes Surprise Visit to Kabul - 2004-08-11

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has praised the surge in Afghan voter registration ahead of upcoming presidential elections, saying it demonstrates Afghan determination to make democracy work.

Speaking Wednesday, on a surprise visit to the Afghan capital, Mr. Rumsfeld also renewed the U.S. commitment to help Afghanistan rebuild its democratic institutions.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said more than nine million Afghans are registered to vote in upcoming elections, and says the polls will take place as scheduled October 9. He said security problems related to the polls still exist, but said the threats are being addressed.

During his day-long surprise visit to Afghanistan, Mr. Rumsfeld was also meeting with United Nations' officials and with senior U.S. military officials.