Bush meets with Afghan leader

By Gina Roswell
February 7, 2002

In less than four months since the United States began bombing the Taliban regime of Afghanistan, and just weeks after the near-total defeat of the group, President Bush has invited the new temporary leader of Afghanistan to the White House and pledged lasting friendship and committed the United States to immediate and long-term aid. The United States has committed itself to supplying $297 million in aid to Afghanistan.

According to www.usinfo.state.gov, in March, children in Afghanistan will begin a new school term with the aid of $6.5 million from the United States, providing 9.7 million books for students to use. This $6.5 million is part of the $297 million that the United States is providing to rebuild Afghanistan – particularly the health, education, agricultural and women’s advancements sectors of society.

According to www.usinfo.state.gov, on Jan. 28, 2002, at the White House, President Bush and the chairman of Afghanistan’s interim government, Hamid Karzai, compiled a joint agreement to fight terrorism, while restoring stability, security and reconstruction in Afghanistan. The statement reads, “We stand together for a new and better future for Afghanistan – a future free from terror, war, and want. We pledge our respect for the culture and traditions of the different peoples of Afghanistan, and for the great religion of Islam, which has been tragically distorted and misused by the Taliban.”

During this meeting, in addition to the $297 million that the United States is providing for Afghanistan, Bush also agreed to transfer $223 million in Afghan assets that were previously frozen.

President Bush also stated that the United States is planning to help Afghanistan build its own military. In doing this, the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has offered $50 million to fund United States projects to restore Afghanistan. This funding will go toward United States support of police officer training in Afghanistan.


Hamid Karzai is the leader of the Pashtun Popalzai tribe in Afghanistan and will rule for six months regarding the transitional government that will assume power for the next two years. He speaks fluent English and has a long history of power behind him. In 1992 he served as a deputy minister for the first Mujaheddin government. In the early 1990s, he supported the new Taliban government, but by 1994 he began harboring suspicions about the government.

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Gina Roswell

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