On Mother’s Day weekend, Rep. Carolyn Maloney joins Congressional delegation to Afghanistan
Washington, DC – Over Mother’s Day weekend, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney visited members of the United States armed forces serving in Afghanistan, joining a bipartisan congressional delegation that also included House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jean Schmidt (R-OH) and Terri Sewell (D-AL). The lawmakers met with troops in the field and participated in important discussions with American and Afghan government and military officials as well as with Afghan women leaders and organizations. On the trip, they visited Helmand and Kandahar provinces, two of the most war-torn areas in the current conflict in Afghanistan, and yesterday traveled to Kabul, the nation’s capital. It was the first congressional delegation to visit Afghanistan since the historic Strategic Partnership Agreement signed by President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on May 1, 2012.
“I was honored to visit our extraordinarily courageous and dedicated servicemembers in Afghanistan – and I was heartened to learn about our efforts to bring them home as safely and as quickly as possible,” said Congresswoman Maloney, who has previously called for an end to active U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.
The congressional delegation attended a celebration in honor of Mothers' Day at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province with many mothers serving in the field. “I was especially moved this Mother’s Day after meeting so many brave American mothers serving in our troops, and I appreciate their heroism and sacrifice more than ever,” said Representative Maloney.
Yesterday, Congresswoman Maloney and delegation members met with President Karzai in Kabul to discuss the outlook for long-term stability in the region. They also were briefed by General John Allen, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan and U.S. Forces, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker as part of a wide-ranging discussion of different counterinsurgency strategies and operations and about progress in laying the groundwork necessary to hand responsibility for preserving stability in their nation back to the Afghan people.
On Saturday, Congresswoman Maloney and delegation members participated in several briefings at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on efforts to strengthen the legal and judicial system in Afghanistan, U.S. Agency for International Development initiatives, and women's issues in Afghanistan. The delegation also participated in the closing session of the International Joint Command's Female Engagement Team conference focused on increasing the role of women in governance, security, business development and education, and which convened Afghan women leaders and parliamentarians with international security force leaders.
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