John Kerry’s Maiden Visit
In his recent surprise visit to Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry met with President Hamid Karzai and other civic leaders. Kerry’s visit brought an end to the recent squabbling over antiAmerican comments made by President Karzai when he accused the U.S. of conspiring with Taliban insurgents to keep Afghanistan instable. During a joint press conference, President Karzai said that the media had misinterpreted his comments. Kerry was satisfied with President Karzai’s explanation and assured that both countries will cooperate once the U.S. com- bat mission ends in 2014.
Kerry’s visit presented a stark contrast to U.S. Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel’s visit to Afghanistan earlier in March when the host country cancelled the joint press conference with tensions escalating between the U.S. and Afghanistan. This was Kerry’s first visit to Afghanistan since he assumed his role as the Secretary of State in February. His objective was to bridge the divide between Washington and Kabul and to analyze the internal affairs of the wartorn country. During his visit, Kerry also met with participants of the U.S.-backed women’s entrepreneurship program and heard the concerns from businesswomen who fear that Afghanistan will bring adversity to the country’s women population in the post-2014 era.