US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a congressional delegation made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Sunday.
The unannounced visit was made as Pelosi led the high-level congressional delegation to Jordan this weekend, where her office says they discussed Middle East peace with members of the country’s royal family.
The delegation, consisting of eight Democrats and one Republican, met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, as well as the country’s chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, and other senior Afghanistan government officials, according to a statement from Pelosi’s office.
The delegation discussed security, governance and economic development during the visit, according to the statement. The group also traveled to Camp Morehead to meet with coalition troops.
“Our delegation emphasized the central importance of combating the corruption which endangers security and undermines the Afghan people’s ability to achieve a stable and prosperous future,” Pelosi said in the statement. “We underscored that the women of Afghanistan must be at the table for reconciliation talks.”
The nine-member delegation included House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson and lone Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee who has announced he won’t seek reelection.
The delegation focused on reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, among other topics.
Pelosi said while Afghan women have made progress in some areas, more must be done to ensure their security as well as economic and educational opportunities for women and girls there.
And she praised the courage of U.S. troops and diplomats on the front lines.
“Our bipartisan delegation completed a visit to Afghanistan focused on security, governance, & economic development,” Pelosi said. “We will return to Washington strengthened with the facts and the first-hand knowledge we have gathered at this critical time for our nation’s Afghanistan policy and inspired by the courage of our service members and diplomats on the front lines.”