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Karzai Expresses Gratitude to U.S. Troops

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2006 – Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai expressed his people's gratitude to U.S. servicemembers during a visit to the Pentagon today. When a Pentagon Channel reporter asked if he had a message for the troops, Karzai replied:

"I was yesterday in the Walter Reed hospital. Ma'am, I was -- let me find the right word -- I was taken by emotions there, to put it in simple terms, of wounded soldiers and of a lady officer who had worked in Afghanistan, having six children, six boys. She was still helping the Afghan people.

"So my message for the American soldiers in Afghanistan is that they have liberated us from tyranny, from terrorism, from oppression, from occupation into a country that is now moving towards prosperity, that is once again the home of all Afghans. I don't know if it resonates with you. It's a very important thing for Afghanistan. Afghanistan was not the home of all Afghans. Today it is. Everybody's back in that country with a parliament, with a constitution, with a market economy, with a free press, with all that.

"Also, that the presence of the American soldiers in Afghanistan, while helping Afghanistan, is also providing security to the rest of world by fighting terrorism. It means also security for America and for Europe.

"Therefore, the continuation of this fight in Afghanistan, in which all of us participate, is actually working for all of us around the world and in Afghanistan, for which we are grateful."

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