President Obama said today that the assassination of the leader of the Afghan High Peace Council would not deter the United States from “creating a path whereby Afghans can live in freedom and safety and security and prosperity.”
Speaking alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the United Nations, Obama offered his “heartfelt condolences” for the death of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who had been working to negotiate a political solution to the ongoing war with the Taliban. Rabbani was killed today by a suicide bomber in Kabul.
“He was a man who cared deeply about Afghanistan and had been a valued advisor to President Karzai, and was a enormous contribution to rebuilding the country,” Obama said. “It is a tragic loss.”
Karzai described Rabbani as a “Afghan patriot” who “sacrificed his life for the sake of Afghanistan and for the peace of our country” and agreed with Obama that “this will not deter us from continuing on the path that we have, and we’ll definitely succeed.”
Today marked the first time that Obama and Karzai have met since the U.S. announced plans to draw down troops from Afghanistan and transition security to Afghan forces. “It is going to be important to continue the efforts to bring all elements of Afghan society together to end what has been a senseless cycle of violence,” Obama concluded.