Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Statement of the Attorney General Following Meetings with Afghan President Karzai, Minister of Justice, Attorney General

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Attorney General Eric Holder met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Minister of Justice Habibullah Ghalib and Attorney General Mohammad Ishaq Aloko today to discuss the department’s ongoing efforts to foster the rule of law in Afghanistan.

At the conclusion of the meetings, the Attorney General made the following statement:

I am pleased to be in Kabul today and to have had the opportunity to meet with President Karzai, Minister of Justice Ghalib, Attorney General Aloko and other distinguished Afghan officials.

The United States is committed to succeeding in Afghanistan and breaking the Taliban’s momentum. As we heard President Obama say on June 23, the United States will "persist and persevere" and "we will not tolerate a safe haven for terrorists who want to destroy Afghan security from within, and launch attacks against innocent men, women and children in our country and around the world."

There is no clearer sign of our commitment to Afghanistan than President Obama’s appointment of General David Petraeus as Commander of the International Security Assistance Force. General Petraeus fully participated in the U.S. policy review last fall, and he both supported and helped design the strategy that we have in place today.

We have watched with interest from Washington the positive steps President Karzai and his Cabinet have taken to help improve governance and enforce the rule of law. We applaud President Karzai for his actions and encourage him to continue his efforts as much work remains to be done.

The long-term stability of Afghanistan lies in the hands of the Afghan people. A key pillar of achieving stability is adherence to the rule of law. The United States is committed to partnering with Afghanistan to ensure that all Afghan citizens have access to a fair, efficient and transparent justice system. Rule of law should be an important dimension of the long-term U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership.

The support and commitment of the United States to improving the lives of the Afghan people and establishing the rule of law will outlast any military presence in the country. The Strategic Partnership that will be signed by our two Presidents by the end of this year will codify this long-term commitment.

And I personally commit that we will continue the partnerships that the U.S. Department of Justice has developed here in Afghanistan. We have sent some of our most experienced federal prosecutors and law enforcement agents – from our Criminal Division, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the FBI, the DEA and the U.S. Marshals Service – to work here with their Afghan law enforcement counterparts. I am glad to have had the opportunity to meet with them today and to thank them for their service to the United States and to Afghanistan. We are proud to be standing with Afghanistan in the fight against corruption, narcotics trafficking and terrorism. The law enforcement partnerships we have established will endure.

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