House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) concluded a two-day visit to Afghanistan with a bipartisan delegation this weekend, spending Mother’s Day with American service-members and meeting local officials to discuss security and women’s issues.
Pelosi was accompanied by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), and Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellPressure builds on Democratic leadership over HBCU funding Thousands march on Washington in voting rights push Activists gear up for voting rights march to mark King anniversary MORE (D-Ala.).
The delegation met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday to discuss regional security matters. The lawmakers also met with Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker to discuss counterinsurgency measures and efforts to transfer security responsibilities to Afghan forces.
A statement said the delegation also met with female Afghan lawmakers and civic leaders and participated in discussions on "increasing the role of women in governance, security business development and education."
"Sunday marked the third phase of the transfer of lead security responsibility to the Afghan forces," said Pelosi, in a statement released by her office. "On every occasion, our delegation stressed the importance of Afghan women being involved in security decisions, especially in light of the upcoming NATO summits in Chicago and Tokyo.
"Recognizing the significant role that our troops play in Afghanistan, we were pleased on Mothers' Day to travel to Helmand and Kandahar provinces to hear directly from regional commanders on the ground and their coalition partners in the most critical areas in Afghanistan," Pelosi added. "Our delegation was also honored to participate in a celebration in honor of Mothers' Day at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province with many mothers serving in our Armed Forces."
The visit was the first lawmaker delegation to visit Afghanistan since President Obama signed a strategic partnership agreement establishing a long-term U.S. presence in the country after the formal withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2014.
The delegation travelled to Afghanistan after a visit to Qatar, where they met with Foreign Affairs Minister Khalid al-Attiya on Friday and discussed “security issues in the Middle East, Asia and Africa,” according to a statement from the minority leader’s office.