Special Representative Holbrooke Previews Upcoming Kabul Conference

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
July 14, 2010

On July 13, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke spoke to the press about the upcoming Kabul Conference. Ambassador Holbrooke said:

"I leave again tomorrow for Germany, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and London on the way back.... In Germany, I'm going to meet with the coordinator for the international special representatives for Afghanistan and Pakistan group, Michael Steiner, who coordinates internationally and does a wonderful job. This is a very important organization which has grown from zero 15 months ago to somewhere around 35 counterparts now. It's an extraordinary organization because it has no formal mandate, and yet it is functioning, meeting regularly. We met in Madrid in May and we will meet again in Italy in the fall. And we have moved around the world. We met in Abu Dhabi in January. And this group has proved to be an indispensible vehicle for coordinating civilian programs.

"Now, it doesn't have the formality of NATO, which is a legal treaty organization with a military command structure. But it proved to fill an essential gap in our policy structure. And we're very grateful to Michael Steiner and the Germans for coordinating it. And many of you in this room know many details about it. There are seven OIC countries that are members, and we hope that number will increase dramatically. The seven OIC countries are Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, and Malaysia. And I draw your attention to the importance of the fact that so many Muslim countries are participating in this effort, which gives the direct lie to the clash of civilizations theory, which the Taliban and al-Qaida put out so continually... We expect more OIC countries to come."

Ambassador Holbrooke described the upcoming Kabul Conference. He said, "It is a follow-on to the January 28th Conference held in London and it was called at the invitation of President Karzai. I am told it's the largest gathering of foreign leaders in Afghanistan since the 1970s. It will be an Afghan-led conference, and in it, the Afghan Government has told us that they will present their renewed commitments on security, governance, development, and they will put heavy emphasis on their programs on reintegration. This is a -- I can't give you the exact number of foreign ministers who are coming because I really don't know it, but we know that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will be there, the NATO Secretary General Rasmussen will be there, and many other foreign ministers."

Read the full transcript of Ambassador Holbrooke's briefing here.



New Mexico, USA
July 14, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I think one of these days Dipnote should consider a topic on coping with all the travel done in the interests of diplomacy.

For sometime now I've watched the Sec. of State and others like Ambassador Holbrooke earn "frequent flyer miles" at a burn-out pace. And there are health implications involved that bear consideration.

So if I may attempt to contribute in some small way to the success of his upcoming mission as well as the Secretary's next week at the Kabul Conference, I got a remedy for preventing the loss of one's voice.

That is a real nasty dry cough the Ambassador has, and probably a scratchy throat along with if my guess is correct.

So if I may draw upon a little recording studio trick for vocalists in dire straits to get a "keeper" track down with irritated vocal chords, I got a recipe for that.

Salt is a natural antibiotic and a teaspoon mixed with a 8 ounce glass of warm water and gargled three times daily can do wonders on its own.

But to really be effective, combine this with a tall cup of warm green tea with a quarter of a lemon sqeezed into it, and a heaping tablespoon full of raw honey.

A few minutes before "showtime", you take that tablespoon of raw honey strait, let it coat your throat on the way down, then drink the tea to chase it, slowly.

What this tends to do is allow any mucus in the vocal chords to stick to the honey and get washed away by the tea. Taking the rough edge off the voice and providing a fair bit of temp relief from any discomfort.

I'm sure they both have accesses to the best Western medicine can offer, but this is is time tested and proven to work.

Now combine this with fresh eucalyptus leaves (or a few drops of eucalyptus oil) steeped in boiling water for a few minutes and by inhaling the steam with a towel over the head like a hood as the mix cools off to open up the bronchial passages in the lungs, these three things combined will mitigate most of the symptoms resulting from a dry, unproductive cough that has a bit of a wheeze to it.

And as long as it isn't associated with feaver, he might just be able to get rid of it altogether before he arrives.

Hope it helps, sometimes the best remedies are invented by mothers, and handed down from generation to generation.

July 19, 2010

Hijratullah in Afghanistan writes:

Hello dear and respectable Holbrook!
Hope to be fine and healthy with all your family.
This Hijratullah from Afghanistan.
We hope that foreign ministers will able to find away for this situation which is processing in Afghanistan, and my idea is that if the government of Afghanistan make this kind conference so that will so fruitful for this poor community, because from one side global will see the satiation of Afghanistan form near and they will be able to find the solution for it.
My massage to all word is that to help with each other to control that war.
Thanks a lot from you, and we hope your bright promoted and successful future.
Best regards.


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