PRESS RELEASE

Reps. Mike Capuano and Edward Markey Join Speaker Pelosi at a Meeting with President Obama to Discuss Recent Trip to Afghanistan

March 5, 2009

Washington, DC — On Wednesday March 4th Rep. Mike Capuano and Rep. Edward Markey joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a meeting with President Obama to discuss the recent trip to Afghanistan taken by the Members of Congress. Last month, they joined Speaker Pelosi on a congressional delegation (CODEL) trip her office organized to Italy and Afghanistan and the President was interested in hearing firsthand about the circumstances they encountered.

"It was an honor to meet with President Obama, Vice President Biden and Administration officials to talk about what we experienced in Afghanistan and to learn more about the Administration's approach to the war. We face significant challenges and I anxiously await the finalization of the Obama Administration's review in Afghanistan. I am looking forward to a more thoughtful policy," stated Rep. Capuano.

"The situation in Afghanistan is very complex, and our success there hinges not only on our current military operations, but on achieving a stable and secure civilian government in Pakistan and reducing the historical tensions between Pakistan and India," said Rep. Markey. "President Obama and his team face enormous challenges in forging a successful strategy to create stability and security in Afghanistan and the larger region and I look forward to working with the Administration on this critical issue."

While in Afghanistan, members of the CODEL met with President Hamid Karzai to gain a better understanding of the political and military realities in the region. A number of issues were raised, including the situation with the Taliban and other terrorist groups, the role of Afghan leadership in stabilizing the region, issues with the Afghan police force and how efforts in Afghanistan are impacting U.S. national security. While in the country, they also met with U.S. military leaders and the U.S. diplomatic team in Kabul. Rep. Capuano and Rep. Markey also met with troops in Italy and Afghanistan, to thank them for their service and to learn about the issues that most concern them.

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Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208 (Rep. Capuano)
Contact: Daniel Reilly (202) 225-2836 (Rep. Markey)