22 September 2006
Prime Minister Harper and Afghan President Hamid Karzai
At the conclusion of a working visit to Canada by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Prime Minister Stephen Harper today expressed satisfaction with the strong partnership between their two countries, both working towards a brighter future for the Afghan people.
"I wish to thank President Karzai for visiting Canada at this crucial time," the Prime Minister said. "His remarks to a joint session of Parliament earlier today served as a reminder of the important role Canadian diplomats, development workers and troops in Afghanistan are playing in stabilizing and rebuilding his nation."
During his visit to Ottawa, President Karzai met with the Prime Minister to discuss a wide range of issues, including security and reconstruction activities currently underway. Canada is providing $1-billion in aid to Afghanistan over 10 years in addition to its commitment to the NATO-led military operation there.
"During our talks, the President repeatedly expressed his gratitude for Canada¹s military and humanitarian efforts on behalf of the Afghan people," the Prime Minister stated. "I was also moved by his recognition of the sacrifice of the men and women of the Canadian Forces in his country."
Prime Minister Harper reaffirmed his support for President Karzai’s efforts to provide stable and effective government for the people of Afghanistan. He pledged that Canada will retain its presence in that country until the work of building a firm foundation for a peaceful, democratic society is complete.
"Our job in Afghanistan is not done," the Prime Minister concluded. "As Canadians, we will stay the course until our work there is complete."