During a second visit to Kabul in his role as U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Marc Grossman met with senior Afghan government officials, parliamentarians, and representatives from civil society and the local media. While in Kabul, Ambassador Grossman met with President Hamid Karzai, as well as Speaker Ibrahimi and other Members of Parliament. His schedule also included meetings with High Peace Council Chairman Rabbani and Minister Stanekzai. The trip concluded with roundtable discussions with leaders from civil society, women's groups, and the Ulema Council.
Reaffirming Secretary Clinton's message from her February 18 speech to the Asia Society, Ambassador Grossman said: "My purpose on this trip has been to pursue our regional strategy, to make sure that all of the neighbors of Afghanistan know that we are committed to supporting an Afghan-led process of peace and reconciliation; that all the neighbors know that we believe that the military surge and the civilian surge still have great utility; and to listen and to consult with Afghans about their views of the future of the region."
The trip comes after the United States, NATO, and the international community expressed support for a transition process, announced by Afghan President Hamid Karzai on March 22. An Afghan-led reconciliation process is key to transition's success. Ambassador Grossman expressed a strong conviction that a new framework for a long-term strategic relationship will contribute to building up Afghanistan's capacity and institutions, as well as improved economic and political relations between Afghanistan and its neighbors.
During his trip throughout the region, which includes visits to New Delhi, Islamabad, and Riyadh, Ambassador Grossman will continue to discuss, among other issues, the important role that these countries play in supporting a secure and economically prosperous Afghanistan.