Afghan, U.S. leaders aim for more cooperation

Secretary of State John Kerry with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (left) and Afghan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah at Camp David on March 23. (© AP Images)

Afghanistan’s national unity government is making its first official trip to Washington.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Afghan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah will meet President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior officials the week of March 22 for discussions to reaffirm U.S.-Afghan relations.

Ghani is scheduled to meet with Obama at Camp David and to speak to a joint session of Congress.

In a March 12 videoconference, Obama and Ghani discussed ongoing efforts by the Afghan National Security Forces to improve security in the country and to counter threats from extremist groups like al-Qaida.

During the videoconference, Obama commended Ghani and Abdullah for promoting the Afghan peace process to end conflict in Afghanistan and their efforts to improve Afghanistan-Pakistan relations.

The United States remains deeply committed to Afghanistan’s future and maintains partnerships with the Afghan people in their efforts to further develop the country. This support includes the longstanding commitment to Afghan women as they help forge the country’s destiny.

“As Afghanistan sees women standing up in Afghanistan to take control of their country’s future — not only for themselves, but for all Afghans — we have to be determined that they will not stand alone,” Kerry said.

America also partners with Afghanistan through the U.S. Fulbright Program, a merit-based educational exchange program. Re-established in 2003, the Fulbright Program in Afghanistan is among the largest Fulbright programs in the world.