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  Politics
Senior White House official travelled to Iraq, Afghanistan
18/10/2012   |   09:07 AM | World News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
WASHINGTON, Oct 18 (KUNA) -- The White House announced late on Wednesday that Deputy National Security Advisor, Denis McDonough, traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan to reaffirm US commitment to both those countries.
White House national security spokesperson Tommy Vietor said in a statement that McDonough was in Baghdad on October 15 where he "underscored the US commitment to Iraq's success through the structure of the bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement. He reviewed our cooperation on security issues, and discussed how the US and Iraq could further improve their partnership, including on counterterrorism".
"In meetings with President Talabani, Prime Minister Maliki, and with Parliament Speaker Nujayfi and others, Mr. McDonough stressed the President's support for Iraq's independent democratic institutions, and urged inclusive dialogue toward national reconciliation", he added.
Vietor noted that McDonough "reiterated our view that that any investigation into Iraq's Central Bank must be transparent, in accordance with Iraqi law and free from political influence to avoid undermining the independence of the institution or investor confidence in Iraq".
"In all of his meetings with Iraq's leaders, Mr. McDonough discussed Syria, with a particular focus on ensuring that violence from Syria does not degrade Iraq's domestic security. During his visit to Baghdad, Mr. McDonough spoke with Roman Catholic Archbishop Jean Sleiman and expressed the President's continuing support for the rights and security of all of Iraq's minority groups", he added.
On October 16 and 17 McDonough travelled to Afghanistan where he met with U.
S. civilian and military leaders, as well as coalition and Afghan partners, in Kabul, and in Eastern and Southern Afghanistan.
"In these meetings, he discussed the current state of transition to Afghan lead and our progress towards meeting the objectives agreed to at the NATO Summit in Chicago earlier this year", said Vietor.
In Kabul, McDonough met with General Allen and other senior ISAF officials to discuss "the military campaign, the transition process, and the status of building and strengthening the Afghan National Security Forces to assume responsibility as U.S. and coalition forces continue to draw down".
McDonough also met with Ambassador Cunningham and Embassy staff to discuss Afghanistan's political transition, including "reconciliation, the upcoming 2014 elections, and implementation of our mutual commitments under the Strategic Partnership Agreement".
"McDonough completed his visit by meeting with military personnel in Regional Command-East and Regional Command-South, to hear their perspective on the challenges they face as we move forward, including the recent troubling trend of insider attacks and the mitigation steps being taken against them", concluded Vietor. (end) jm.asa KUNA 180907 Oct 12NNNN
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