Afghan foreign minister speaks at George Washington U.

Posted 8:34 p.m. Oct. 23

by Marcus Mrowka

(U-WIRE) WASHINGTON–Afghan Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah offered words of hope for the future of his developing country but urged continued international support during an address to students and faculty at The George Washington University Monday afternoon.

Abdullah outlined plans for democratic elections, a stronger economy and global ranking during his hour long address, while commending the Afghan people for enduring 23 years of oppression.

Abdullah described the plight of Afghans as a “struggle for freedom” and a “study of hope,” and described his country’s history as one of “hopes, opportunities and challenges.”

Abdullah, a main force in helping to create a more peaceful and democratic Afghanistan since the eradication of the Taliban in 2001, outlined the transitional period that his country is currently undergoing, saying, “After the removal of the Taliban, Afghanistan went through a six month interim period of government and is now in the process of a transitional government that will last for one and a half years.”

“We are working towards general elections,” Abdullah said of the transitional process Afghanistan is in now. “We are now on the verge of the formation of a Constitutional Committee.”

“I am very proud of the achievements of my nation and grateful for the support from the world community,” Abdullah said to the students.

The Foreign Minister said that Afghanistan is “offering hands of friendship” to the world community and hopes to build strong bonds with its neighbors as well as nations across the globe.

“We expect [our neighbors] to have friendly relations and a mutual respect for the severity of each other,” Abdullah said. “The world can benefit a lot through a normal and healthy relationship with Afghanistan.”

Abdullah encouraged continued support for Afghanistan, saying, “Our ability to deliver promises promised to people will depend on our efforts but also the support from the international community.”

Abdullah expressed his gratitude to those countries who have made pledges to support the reconstruction process in Afghanistan but said he was frustrated by the “slow dispersal of assistances.”

“We only need support for a short period of time,” Abdullah said in order for Afghanistan to be able to sustain itself without outside aide. He added that the United States has pledged a great deal in aide, and while his country is very grateful for the American assistance he believes “America could do more and should do more.”

After working in the medical field for years, Abdullah joined Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance and soon worked his way up the ranks to become a leading member of the anti-Taliban army. Abdullah became Foreign Minister of the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1998 and served as the Northern Alliance’s lead spokesperson until 2002.

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