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U.S. - Afghan Security Partnership

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai met with President George W. Bush at Camp David, Maryland, to discuss common concerns, including security strategy. Mr. Bush said the U.S. and its coalition allies are on the offensive against terrorists in Afghanistan:

"You might remember it was last winter that people were speculating about the Taleban spring offensive, and about how the Taleban had regrouped and were going to go on the attack inside Afghanistan. There was a spring offensive, all right – it was conducted by U.S., NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization], and equally importantly, Afghan troops."

"There is still a fight going on," said Mr. Bush, and Afghanistan's security forces are in it:

"Afghan national security forces are increasing in strength; there's about one-hundred-ten thousand Afghans now defending their nation. And more Afghans are stepping up to serve."

Mr. Bush said many nations are standing with Afghanistan's fighting forces:

"Our twenty-three-thousand-five-hundred troops are proud to stand side-by-side with twenty-six-thousand troops from other nations. And we applaud those countries who have committed their troops to help Afghanistan succeed."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Taleban insurgents and their allies have increasingly targeted civilians:

"The Taleban do pose dangers to our innocent people; to children going to school; to our clergy; to our teachers; to our engineers; to international aid workers. They [the Taleban] are not posing any threat to the government of Afghanistan, they are not posing any threat to the institutions of Afghanistan. . .It's a force that is defeated. . .it's a force that is acting in cowardice by killing children."

Mr. Karzai said his countrymen are committed to vanquishing violent extremists:

"Our enemy is still there – defeated, but still hiding in the mountains. And our duty is to complete the job, to get them out of their hideouts in the mountains and bring justice to the people of Afghanistan, to the people of America, and to the people around the world who threatened by these terrorists."

President George W. Bush said the U.S. will continue to work with Afghanistan "to defeat those who would try to stop the advance of a free Afghan society."