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Pelosi, delegation make unannounced trip to Afghanistan

21 Oct 2019 TheHill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) office announced the Speaker and a bipartisan congressional delegation completed a previously unannounced trip to Afghanistan after a trip to Jordan this weekend.

“Our delegation received briefings from Ambassador John Bass and other top diplomats on reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, which has been responsible for violent attacks in Afghanistan. We also heard more about the still-pending status of results from the Afghanistan presidential election in September, which we all hope will be available soon,” the statement reads.

Pelosi’s office said that during the visit, the delegation met with senior Afghan officials including Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, during which they discussed issues ranging from security to economic development.

 “Our delegation emphasized the central importance of combating the corruption which endangers security and undermines the Afghan people’s ability to achieve a stable and prosperous future. We underscored that the women of Afghanistan must be at the table for reconciliation talks,” the speaker’s office added.

Pelosi was accompanied by eight other House members, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the sole Republican and the ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The meeting comes the month after President Trump announced the end of peace talks with the Taliban following an attack in Kabul that killed 11 civilians and an American servicemember.

“We will return to Washington strengthened with the facts and the first-hand knowledge we have gathered at this critical time for our nation’s Afghanistan policy and inspired by the courage of our servicemembers and diplomats on the front lines,” Pelosi’s office said in the statement.

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