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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2002 > December
Press Statement
Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 23, 2002


Afghanistan's Good Neighborly Relations Declaration Caps One Year of Solid Achievement

It has been one year since the inauguration of the Afghan government. Afghanistan has moved steadily forward over this past year. The initial transitional government gained the consent of the people through a traditional Afghan institution, the Loya Jirga, in which all shades of opinion were heard, but loudest was the message of democracy. Over two million Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan, a dramatic vote of confidence in a better future for their country. President Karzai has put together a government that now interacts constructively with the sixty nations of the international community assisting in Afghanistan’s reconstruction. Roads are being built; schools are now in session. Girls are once again in school and Afghans are beginning to experience the security that allow for a normal life. The past year has been a period all Afghans can view with pride and can look forward to a more prosperous, secure Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s progress toward becoming a full member of the international community took a further step forward on December 22, as Afghanistan and six neighboring countries signed the Kabul Declaration on Good Neighborly Relations--a pledge to respect Afghanistan’s independence and territorial integrity. The signing ceremony marked one year since the establishment of a representative Afghan government, an achievement of the international community and the Afghans working together.

Afghanistan’s domestic security depends on the cooperation, good will and non-interference of Afghanistan’s neighbors. The United States strongly supports the efforts of the Afghan government under President Karzai to establish its authority and good governance throughout the country and to secure commitment of both neighboring states and local leaders to this goal.

The United States and its international partners remain committed to helping Afghans create a country that is prosperous, democratic, at peace within itself and with its neighbors, possessing a free market and respectful of human rights, especially women’s rights. We will continue to do our part to achieve these goals. As one of Afghanistan’s partners, we congratulate the people of Afghanistan on their first year of freedom.

Released on December 23, 2002

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