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Afghan President Tells RFE/RL of Assurances of U.S. Commitment from President Bush

(Kabul, Afghanistan–November 9, 2006) Afghan President Hamid Karzai told RFE/RL today he has received assurances from U.S. President George W. Bush that changes in the U.S. government following this week’s midterm elections will not weaken the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan.

Karzai said “President Bush has assured me changes in the institutions of government in the United States will not have an effect on Afghanistan — the Democrats and Republicans, they are all supporters of Afghanistan.”

Karzai made the statement in an exclusive, hour-long interview in the presidential palace in Kabul, speaking with RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan Director Akbar Ayazi (an English transcript of the interview can be found at RFE/RL’s homepage.

In the wide-ranging conversation, Karzai also praised outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, calling him “a friend of Afghanistan, a good ally and supporter in the war against terrorism.”

On the U.S. elections, Karzai, speaking alternately in Dari and Pashto, the two main languages of Afghanistan, said “the elections demonstrated the freedom and democracy of America and should make the American people proud.”

Radio Free Afghanistan, the Dari- and Pashto-language service of RFE/RL, broadcasts 12 hours of programming a day, with programs produced in Prague and the service’s Kabul Bureau and transmitted to listeners via shortwave, satellite and AM and FM signals provided by the International Broadcasting Bureau. Radio Free Afghanistan programming is also available via the Internet, at the service’s trilingual website and at; English-language news about events in Afghanistan can be found on the RFE/RL website.