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For Immediate Release
March 18, 2005

Global Message

From remarks by Secretary of State Rice, Kabul, Afghanistan, 3/17/04

Everyone can see Afghanistan's progress.

President Karzai has demonstrated extraordinary leadership through difficult times and now to times that seem to point to a much brighter future for the Afghan people.

Members of the Afghan Government are showing constant attention to U.S.-Afghan relations.

The Afghan people's story - of coming out of years of civil war, turmoil, going to vote, and demonstrating their commitment to the democratic enterprise - is an inspiration to people all over the world.

Ordinary Americans know the Afghan people's story - what they have sacrificed and how they have struggled. America knows that Afghanistan is committed to democracy.

America will stand by the Afghan people as they go through the next phase of their democratic development, the parliamentary elections that will take place this fall. We look forward to continuing to help in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

This country was once a source of terrorism; it is now a steadfast fighter against terrorism.

There could be no better story than the story of Afghanistan in the last several years and there can be no better story than the story of American and Afghan friendship. It is a story of cooperation and friendship that will continue. We have a long-term commitment to this country.

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