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Risch Meets with Pakistani and Afghan Presidents

Says Countries Face Long, Difficult Battles Against Taliban

May 7, 2009

Washington, D.C.- U.S. Senator Jim Risch met today with the presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan to discuss security issues specific to the U.S. and those countries, including recent developments with the Taliban.

"Afghanistan and Pakistan are in the middle of long, difficult battles with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda that pose serious political and security issues to their countries, America and the rest of the world," said Risch. "Today's talks reinforced what I saw during my visit to that region last month. The struggle there will be difficult. But it is important that our goals be focused and measured and we keep it as short term as possible. The citizens of these countries must stand up and resolve these internal issues. The danger from these extremists threatens their culture as much as it does the rest of the world."

Risch made a stop in Afghanistan last month as a representative of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees where he saw the situation there firsthand and spoke with government, military and local leaders.

Various ambassadors and administration and security officials also attended today's meeting. Presidents Karzai and Zardari visited the White House earlier this week.