US State Department Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Alice Wells is in Kabul, where she has met with leaders of National Unity Government (NUG) and discussed peace process and preparations for holding timely presidential elections. Ambassador Wells has declared her country’s support from a timely and credible presidential elections.
In meeting between President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Ambassador Wells, the US-Afghan Civilian Assistance Review to promote strong governance and self-reliance as proposed by President Ghani in his letter to President Donald Trump, peace process, preparations for the upcoming presidential elections, the importance of holding the elections in September, and the success and results of the Consultative Loya Jirga on peace were discussed.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Wells in a meeting with acting minister of foreign affairs Salahuddin Rabbani has informed of continuation of exemption of Iran’s Chabahar port from US sanctions, discussing regional cooperation, security and counter terrorism. Ambassador Wells has considered comprehensive domestic debate of the people of Afghanistan for conclusion of peace talks as significant.
Ambassador Wells has also met with commissioners of Afghanistan Independent Election Commission (IEC), discussing preparations for the upcoming presidential elections set to be held on September. Wells stressed the importance of a transparent, credible election process, of making swift preparations to complete voter registration, and hiring and training the staff needed to conduct the elections in a timely manner.
Afghan political experts believe that Ambassador Wells’ visit to Afghanistan is to review US civilian assistance to Afghanistan. The review will strengthen Afghanistan institutions and promote Afghan self-reliance, and is an element of the investment the US makes in the social and economic development of Afghanistan.
Now, if Afghanistan reaches to peace, the international community in particular US should see the issue as its new mission and continue the mission with its continued assistance. Undoubtedly, if the international community, or the US assistance to Afghanistan cuts down, or decreases, the 18-year achievements in Afghanistan will face with lots of challenges and problems.
US financial assistance to Afghanistan depends on modality of counter corruption and acceleration of works towards economic development in the country. Security is a big challenge facing Afghanistan. US will stand beside Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) to fight terrorism. Political and democratic reforms, starting and enduring peace process in Afghanistan are real pavements for lasting security in the country.
Despite of increasing challenges facing Afghanistan, there is still a bright future for this country as the country has unprecedentedly changed and developed comparing to 18 years ago and such developments will continue.
The international community in particular US are supporting Afghanistan in the field of political, security and economy and such supports will continue beyond years to come. This support of the international community and US will help the government of Afghanistan reach further achievements in various field in particular economy.