Today U.S. Congressman John Salazar discussed his recent visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Congressman Salazar was joined on the trip by Senator Max Baucus and Congresswoman Betsey Markey. The team met with U.S. troops in Afghanistan and surveyed military operations in the region. Congressman Salazar also met with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, Commander of the United States Forces in Afghanistan to discuss operations on the ground.
Today Congressman Salazar offered the following comments on the visit.
"During my trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan over the past week I had the honor of meeting brave American soldiers from Colorado and across the nation. They are putting their lives on the line every day in the name of freedom and democracy and for that we are all indebted to them."
On his meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Congressman Salazar made the following comment.
"We had the opportunity to sit down with President Karzai himself. He is very committed to eliminating the Taliban. The biggest problem that he has of course is trying to get the trust of Afghanistan's people. One of the things that we were able to do was meet with some of the tribal elders in the southern part of Afghanistan in Kandahar. Their comment to us was that they trusted the American troops and the USA to the fullest extent and the troops have actually created a good, safe, secure environment for them to be able to actually begin their economic recovery. Their take was that they trust the Americans but they still have a distrust for their very own government."
On his meeting with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari Congressman Salazar offered the following comment.
"We met with President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani and General Kayani. General Kayani is the General who actually is leading the Pakistani forces up into the northern mountains of Pakistan, in trying to root out the Taliban. President Zardari is very, very committed to helping the United States with this fight against the Taliban. Although their resources are a little skimpy, they seem to be working very well with General McChrystal. General McChrystal and President Zardari meet at least once every three weeks, is what General McChrystal told us."