U.S. Secretary of State delivers remarks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Jilani before their meeting in Tervuren, Belgium on April 24, 2013. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2013/04/207920.htm
A photo board with photos of Anne Smedinghoff, a Foreign Service Officer killed in Afghanistan, stands in the Diplomatic Lobby of the U.S. Department of State on the day of her wake, April 16, 2013. [State Department Photo/Public Domain]
|—||U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, April 7, 2013|
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reflects on the life of Anne Smedinghoff, a Foreign Service Officer who lost her life in Afghanistan on April 6, and says she was as “everything our country stands for,” during his remarks to U.S. Consulate General staff and families in Istanbul, Turkey, April 7, 2013. Go to www.state.gov for details about the Secretary’s travel. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
On April 6, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement about the attack in Zabul Province, Afghanistan. The Secretary said:
“Our State Department family is grieving over the loss of one of our own, an exceptional young Foreign Service Officer, killed today in an IED attack in Zabul province, along with service members, a Department of Defense civilian, and Afghan civilians. Four other State Department colleagues suffered injuries, one critically.
“Our American officials and their Afghan colleagues were on their way to donate books to students in a school in Qalat, the province’s capital, when they were struck by this despicable attack.
“Just last week in Kabul, I met our fallen officer when she was selected to support me during my visit to Afghanistan. She was everything a Foreign Service Officer should be: smart, capable, eager to serve, and deeply committed to our country and the difference she was making for the Afghan people. She tragically gave her young life working to give young Afghans the opportunity to have a better future.
“We also honor the U.S. troops and Department of Defense civilian who lost their lives, and the Afghan civilians who were killed today as they worked to improve the nation they love.
“I spoke this morning with our fallen Foreign Service Officer’s mother and father and offered what little comfort I can for their immeasurable loss. As a father of two daughters, I can’t imagine what her family is feeling today, or her friends and colleagues.
“I also have been in close touch with Secretary Hagel, the White House, and our senior management team at the State Department, including Deputy Secretary Burns, Undersecretary Kennedy, and Ambassador Cunningham in Kabul. We will all keep in close contact as we learn more facts about this attack and the brave people who were killed and wounded. We are also in contact with the families of those injured.
“We know too well the risks in the world today for all of our State Department personnel at home and around the world — Foreign Service, Civil Service, political appointees, locally employed staff and so many others. I wish everyone in our country could see first-hand the devotion, loyalty and amazingly hard and hazardous work our diplomats do on the front lines in the world’s most dangerous places. Every day, we honor their courage and are grateful for their sacrifices, and today we do so with great sadness.”
On March 25-26, 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled Kabul, Afghanistan, where he met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other officials to discuss a number of issues of mutual interest.
“Today, Afghanistan is managing three very significant transitions: a security transition, a political transition, and an economic transition,” Secretary Kerry remarked in a joint press availability with President Karzai. “And America will continue to support the Afghan people through all three of these transitions just as we agreed to do in the strategic partnership agreement and in the bilateral security agreement that we are currently negotiating. We also support the Afghan-led peace process, the reconciliation—recognizing that the reconciliation is the best… more »
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 25, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
About the Author: Tara Sonenshine serves as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
This past month I had the opportunity to meet two incredible groups of young artists from Afghanistan — and to see firsthand evidence of how our public diplomacy efforts for young people in that country are bearing fruit. It was also a chance to underscore our commitment to support the strengthening and preservation of national cultures around the world.
The first artists were students of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), who began a State Department-funded tour in the United States with a concert of traditional Afghan music. I had the pleasure of introducing them, and we were joined by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who shared his own love for music with the audience. Over the course of their… more »
About the Author: April Wells serves as a Staff Assistant in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.
At a small compound not far from the airport in Dushanbe, an Afghan, a Tunisian, and a Tajik official sit side-by-side listening to a lecture on weapons smuggling interdiction. As the American instructor’s words are simultaneously translated into Dari, English, and Tajik, the students furiously scribble notes. They will have to present research projects on this material in the near future. They do not want to be caught unprepared.
The students are but three of 41 border management and/or security officials from Central Asia and beyond who have come to the OSCE Border Management Staff Collegein Tajikistan to learn how to fight terrorism, human trafficking, illicit drug trade, and many other threats that governments face as they manage long, porous borders. More Afghans have… more »