US First Lady in Afghanistan, Urges Support
By VOA News
08 June 2008
U.S. first lady Laura Bush is in Afghanistan to highlight progress it has made, and to urge international support for the war-torn nation.
U.S. First lady Laura Bush, right, and Governor of the Bamiyan province Habiba Sarabi, left, visit the Police Training Academy in Bamiyan, Afghanistan Sunday, 08 June 2008
Mrs. Bush, who is on her third unannounced trip to Afghanistan, is visiting several projects, including a road construction site. She also planned to visit female recruits at a police training academy.
The first lady flew by helicopter from Kabul to Bamiyan, where she viewed the ruins of two ancient Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
Mrs. Bush also plans to meet with President Hamid Karzai, and visit U.S. troops during her nine-hour visit to Afghanistan.
Her trip comes ahead of a donors' conference Thursday in Paris, where the United States will urge the international community to pledge aid for Afghanistan.
Defending President Karzai, Mrs. Bush said today its not fair to blame him for Afghanistan's problems. She said Mr. Karzai inherited a country that has been devastated.
After leaving Afghanistan, Mrs. Bush will head to Slovenia where she will be joined by her husband Monday at a U.S. - European Union summit.