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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 10, 2002

President Bush Welcomes Highway Construction in Afghanistan
Statement by the Deputy Press Secretary

President Bush welcomes the start of construction today on the Kabul-Kandahar-Herat highway, Afghanistan's main transportation artery. The U.S.-Japanese-Saudi Arabian-Afghan partnership to build this road is part of a comprehensive, multi-billion dollar international reconstruction effort for Afghanistan. The road is a tangible example of the long-term commitment of the international community to Afghanistan.

The United States, Japan, and Saudi Arabia agreed in September to work together on the road in partnership with the Afghan government, pledging $180 million dollars toward the effort. The United States pledge includes funding for de-mining efforts along the highway to be carried out by the United Nations Mine Action Center. The road project is an important effort to help the Afghan people provide a better future for their country. At the same time, this road, along with others that will connect Afghanistan to its neighbors can set the stage for a complete transportation system that will integrate the country, increase trade, and establish links through Afghanistan from the Indian Ocean to Central Asia and along the "Silk Road", bridging East and West.


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