President George W. Bush visited Afghanistan where he met with Afghan president Hamid Karzai:
"Mr. President, welcome to Afghanistan. We owe a great deal in this country's rebuilding, peace, democracy, the strong steps toward the future, to your support."
Before a U.S.-led coalition helped to remove the extremist Taleban regime in 2001, Afghanistan was a safe haven for al-Qaida terrorists. Mr. Bush says that efforts to apprehend members of the Taleban regime and al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden continue:
"What's happening is we have U.S. forces on the hunt for not only bin Laden but anybody who plots and plans with bin Laden."
Mr. Bush says, "It's not a matter of if they're captured or brought to justice, it's when they're brought to justice":
"It's important for the people of Afghanistan to recognize that we're here by mutual consent. We want to be here. We want to be here to help Afghanistan grow its democracy, and to defeat those who. . . .can't stand the thought of freedom."
The U.S. has committed more than six billion dollars to help Afghanistan. Britain, Germany, Japan, and many other countries are also providing assistance to the Afghan people. Mr. Bush says that he remains optimistic:
"Stories. . . .of young girls going to school in Afghanistan. . . . It means a lot for people to realize that there is an entrepreneurial class that's beginning to grow. We believe in hope, which is the exact opposite of the ideology of the bin Ladens of the world, and the Taleban."
The U.S. commitment in Afghanistan "is firm. Our desire," says Mr. Bush, "is to see this country flourish and set a great example not only in the neighborhood, but around the world."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.