Roundtable With Civil Society Leaders

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Embassy Kabul
Kabul, Afghanistan
October 20, 2011

I just want to welcome all of you here and to thank both Ambassador Crocker and Ambassador Cunningham for welcoming us this morning. I know that for each of you, what you are doing today to contribute to a peaceful, stable, prosperous Afghanistan is a life’s work; it is a commitment of such deep meaning to you. And I want to be sure that as we move forward together, I have the benefit of your views, your concerns, and that you know they’re being heard at the highest levels of the American Government.

I have met some of you before, particularly the women, with whom I have been working now for a decade. And the changes that I have seen in Afghanistan are very encouraging, but they must be made permanent. And that can only happen if there is a consensus within the country about what kind of future you are seeking.

And therefore, this discussion, from my perspective, is really important. And so I thank you for coming, and I think now we’ll excuse the press and we’ll have a chance to hear from each (inaudible).

PRN: 2011/T54-11