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Transition is Underway in Afghanistan:Obama


WASHINGTON – Expressing satisfaction over the security transition, US President Barack Obama on Sunday said, next year would mark the final Memorial Day for the country in Afghanistan.  “Today, a transition is underway in Afghanistan, and our troops are coming home.  Fewer Americans are making the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan, and that’s progress for which we are profoundly grateful.  And this time next year, we will mark the final Memorial Day of our war in Afghanistan,” Obama said in his address to the nation on the occasion of Memorial Day.

“And so, as I said last week, America stands at a crossroads.  But even as we turn the page on a decade of conflict, even as we look forward, let us never forget, as we gather here today, that our nation is still at war,” he said. In his address, Obama referred to a letter he received from a Naval officer, a reservist who had just returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.  “And he wrote me, “I’m concerned that our work in Afghanistan is fading from memory.”  And he went on to ask that we do more to keep this conflict “alive and focused in the hearts and minds of our own people.” And he’s right,” he said.

“As we gather here today, at this very moment, more than 60,000 of our fellow Americans still serve far from home in Afghanistan.  They’re still going out on patrol, still living in spartan forward operating bases, still risking their lives to carry out their mission.  And when they give their lives, they are still being laid to rest in cemeteries in the quiet corners across our country, including here in Arlington,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a message, the Afghan Ambassador to the US, Eklil Hakimi, expressed his sincere appreciation to the American and International service men and women who have contributed to the security and development of Afghanistan over the last decade.

“The American and Afghan people have sacrificed much in pursuit of our mutual interests, and the world is safer for it. Thanks to Afghanistan’s strong partnership with the United States, real and lasting progress has occurred, and the Afghan people are ready to continue to build upon those achievements,” he said. “Once again, on behalf of the Afghan people, I thank men and women of the United Stated Armed Services for their contribution and sacrifice. Afghanistan will continue to support you as a strategic partner and ally,” Hakimi said. (PAN)

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