News

US, Afghan Presidents Discuss Reconstruction Effort

Multimedia

Audio

U.S. President George Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met at the White House to talk about improving security in Afghanistan and expanding the Afghan army. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

At what is likely to be their last White House meeting, President Bush praised President Karzai's service to his country, saying he admires the Afghan leader's determination to succeed.

"I want to let you know that the United States is committed to the people of Afghanistan. We will stand by your side and do the hard work necessary to achieve our objective. And our objective is for you to become a thriving democracy and to deny al-Qaida and other extremists a safe haven or a base from which to launch their murderous attacks," he said.

Al-Qaida terrorists responsible for the September 2001 attacks in New York and Washington were backed by what was then the Taleban-led government in Afghanistan. U.S. forces toppled that government in 2002.

U.S. troops make up the bulk of the NATO mission in Afghanistan fighting Taleban militia, some of whom U.S. military officials say are based across the border in Pakistan.

Earlier this month, Mr. Bush announced that a Marine battalion scheduled to go to Iraq in November will instead be sent to Afghanistan. That battalion will be followed in January by an Army combat brigade.

Before their Oval Office talks, President Bush and President Karzai had a video conference with Afghan governors and members of U.S. provincial reconstruction teams in Afghanistan. Mr. Bush said those teams are a central part of a counter-insurgency strategy that combines economic development, education, and security to help President Karzai's young democracy thrive.                 

"No question it's difficult. But if you listen to the people who are actually on the ground working with the citizens of Afghanistan on matters such as agriculture or education or infrastructure, you will understand why I said that there is progress and promise and hope," said Mr. Bush.               

There have been difficulties between the Bush administration and the Karzai government, chiefly resulting from public anger over the deaths of Afghan civilians killed by U.S. troops targeting terrorists.

President Karzai thanked President Bush for his friendship, his support, and his patience.
                     
"I have yelled at times. I have been angry at times. But you have always been smiling and generous. And that is so nice of you," he said.                   

President Karzai says Afghanistan has made more progress in the last six years that it would have made in 50 or 60 years under the Taleban. He says infant mortality is down and national reserves of $180 million in 2002 now total more than $3 billion.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs