Top American lawmakers on Wednesday applauded President Ashraf Ghani’s vision for a peaceful, democratic and self-reliant Afghanistan.
“We were honored by President Ghani’s address today, particularly his tributes to the brave Americans who have served and sacrificed in Afghanistan,” said US House of Representatives speaker. John Boehner said the address was a great display of statesmanship from a leader who had already established himself as a trusted partner for peace and security in the region.
Congress remained committed to securing the gains US forces had made together and completing the mission successfully, the speaker said, adding they would review the specifics of President Obama’s announcement regarding force levels.
Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Eliot Engel hailed the presidential address as a powerful symbol of the enduring bond between the US and Afghanistan.
“Though serious challenges remain, we were pleased to hear the president’s ideas about the way forward in Afghanistan,” they said, calling Ghani’s emphasis on Afghanistan’s future as a self-sufficient nation a shared goal.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said: “My special satisfaction was to be in the House chamber today, when my friend Ashraf Ghani addressed a joint session of Congress. So begins a new day in the history of U.S.-Afghan relations.”
Following an era of futility, in which Washington wrong-headedly backed the corrupt and ungrateful Hamid Karzai government, Ghani could not have left a better impression, he said.
Senator Chris Murphy commended Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Dr Abdullah Abdullah for their efforts in securing and stabilising Afghanistan.
“I believe we must demand greater accountability going forward. That’s why I’m glad that under the New Development Partnership, US economic assistance will be tied to Afghan achievements of specific development results and implementation of key policy reforms.”
Senator Lindsey appreciated Ghani’s work in tackling corruption in Afghanistan and working to create functioning institutions. “Ghani is part technocrat, part visionary leader – an incredibly hard combination to find in any country.”