Today, President Obama met with President Karzai in Kabul, Afghanistan. Following their meetings, the President spoke to a crowd of U.S. and allied troops at Bagram Air Base. The President said:
"I'm honored to be joined by America's outstanding civilian military leadership team here in Afghanistan, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, who's doing outstanding work, and the commander of our 43-nation coalition, General Stan McChrystal. The two of them together have paired up to do an extraordinarily difficult task, but they are doing it extraordinarily well and we are proud of them. Please give your outstanding team a big round of applause. They've got my full confidence and my full support.
"We're also joined by troops from some of our coalition partners, because this is not simply an American mission or even just a NATO mission. Al Qaeda and their extremist allies are a threat to the people of Afghanistan and a threat to the people of America, but they're also a threat to people all around the world, and that's why we're so proud to have our coalition partners here with us. Thank you very much for the great work that you do. We salute you and we honor you for all the sacrifices you make, and you are a true friend of the United States of America. Thank you very much.
"And we also salute the members of the Afghan National Army who are fighting alongside all of you. They're risking their lives to protect their country. And as I told President Karzai today, the United States is a partner but our intent is to make sure that the Afghans have the capacity to provide for their own security. That is core to our mission, and we are proud of the work that they are doing and the continuing increased capacity that we're seeing out of Afghan national security forces. So thank you very much for the great work you're doing to take responsibility for security here in your own country.
"And to the Afghan people, I want to say that I'm honored to be a guest in your country. Now, the Afghans have suffered for decades -- decades of war. But we are here to help Afghans forge a hard-won peace while realizing the extraordinary potential of the Afghan people, Afghanistan's sons and daughters, from the soldiers and the police to the farmers and the young students. And we want to build a lasting partnership founded upon mutual interests and mutual respect, and I'm looking forward to returning to Afghanistan many times in the years to come."Full TextRead more on the White House Blog.