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Rep. Rohrabacher Leads Bipartisan Delegation's Afghanistan Strategy Session With National Front Leaders in Berlin


Location: Washington, DC

Today, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), led a bipartisan Congressional delegation strategy session with leaders of Afghanistan's newly formed National Front, to discuss alternatives to Hamid Karazi's consideration of including the Taliban in Afghanistan's coalition government. Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Steve King (R-IA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and several leaders of Afghanistan's National Front joined Rep. Rohrabacher in Berlin.

"The Afghans and Members of Congress meeting in Berlin today have concluded that there is a serious concern the blood and treasure invested in Afghanistan over this last decade may well have been in vain," said Rohrabacher. "The overly centralized government power structure in Afghanistan is contrary to that country's culture and has inhibited progress toward building a stable and democratic society there.

"The incompetence and corruption of Karzai's government has now brought serious consideration to accepting the Taliban as part of the coalition government, this would be a betrayal of those Americans who shed their blood in the last decade, as well as, a sellout of the brave Afghans in the North Alliance who cast their lot with us after 9/11 in order to defeat the Taliban dictatorship. All participants in this meeting agreed that if the Taliban wants to participate in running for democratic office, they should be permitted to do so, but they should not be included in a back room deal among power brokers so that they would hold some kind of authority and power in an upcoming Afghan government."

Upon conclusion of the briefing, both groups issued the following joint policy statement:

"We call for a national dialogue on a revised Constitution to correct the inherent flaws in the present power structure by decentralizing the political system, making it more compatible with the diverse political, social and cultural nature of Afghanistan. The Afghan people deserve and need a parliamentary form of democracy instead of a personality-centered Presidential system.

"We firmly believe that any negotiation with the Taliban can only be acceptable, and therefore effective, if all parties to the conflict are involved in the process. The present form of discussions with the Taliban is flawed, as it excludes anti-Taliban Afghans. It must be recalled that the Taliban extremists and their Al-Qaeda supporters were defeated by Afghans resisting extremism with minimal human embedded support from the United States and International community. The present negotiations with the Taliban fail to take into account the risks, sacrifices and legitimate interests of the Afghans who ended the brutal oppression of all Afghans.

"In order to speed the withdrawal of international forces, the participants believe it is essential to strengthen regional and national institutions that are inclusive and represent the concerns of all the communities of Afghanistan.

"The participants favor a change in the Electoral System from a Single Non Transferable Vote System to a nationally accepted variant of the Proportional Representation system with equal opportunities for both independent candidates, the political parties, or tribal representatives. We also support the election of Governors and empowerment of provincial councils. Such elected Governors and provincial councils should also have authority for such things as creating budgets and generating revenue, overseeing police and healthcare, as well as establishing educational authority, if they so desire."

Mr. Ahmed Zia Massoud, Chairman, National Front
General Abdul Rashid Dostum, Leader, National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan
Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, Leader, People´s Unity Party of Afghanistan
Mr. Amrullah Saleh, Former Director, Afghan National Security Directorate
Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-California)
Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-California)
Represenative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)
Representative Steve King (R-Iowa)

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