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Hagan meets with Holbrooke on Mideast issues

Last week, U.S. Sen. Kay R. Hagan, D-N.C., met with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, to discuss her recent congressional delegation trip to the region.
This week, the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which Hagan is a member, will vote on the Defense Authorization Bill in committee meetings.
“Late last week,” Hagan said in a press release, “I had an important conversation with Ambassador Holbrooke about U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including helping the Pakistani Army and Frontier Corps with the capability to conduct direct-action missions against the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda in Waziristan.
“We also discussed working with the Pakistani government and military to deny the Taliban and al-Qaeda safe havens. The Pakistani government must also provide humanitarian assistance to the 2.5 million Pakistanis who have been displaced because of violence in the region. Otherwise, they could become prime recruits for the Taliban.”
Hagan said the people of Afghanistan want safety, security and jobs for their families.
“The key to our success is ensuring the Afghan government is strong enough to provide its people with an alternative to the Taliban and al-Qaeda,” she said.
Hagan spent the Memorial Day recess in Afghanistan and Pakistan assessing U.S. efforts to rid both countries of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. She met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Alif Ali Zardari, as well as U.S. generals stationed in the region.
“We need to give our troops in Afghanistan time to succeed,” Hagan said. “The generals on the ground said they are working to strengthen the Afghan police and army. I will continue working with my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee, as well as the Administration, to make sure we get the job done as swiftly and effectively as possible. Our safety at home depends on it.”
Hagan voted last week for the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, which funds ongoing U.S. military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, including 21,000 additional troops in Afghanistan.
The Senate voted for the bill 91-5, and it is now headed for President Obama’s desk.

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