WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) today issued the following statement regarding Afghan President Ghani’s address to a Joint Meeting of Congress.

“It was a privilege to have President Ghani address today’s Joint Meeting of Congress, and an honor to escort him into the House Chamber as a member of his host committee,” Rep. Scalise said. “The United States and Afghanistan share a special relationship that has only strengthened during the peaceful political transition under President Ghani. The success of Afghanistan as a nation remains just as critical to our national security, as we are to Afghanistan’s future security and stability. President Ghani’s commitment to our Bilateral Security Agreement ensures the success of our special partnership for many years to come.

“I am pleased that the Administration has decided to delay the withdrawal of our forces and not prematurely pull out of Afghanistan in order to meet an arbitrary deadline. To do so would jeopardize the hard-fought stability realized under our partnership and threaten to create a power vacuum last seen when we prematurely left Iraq and resulted in the rise of ISIL. 

“I applaud President Ghani’s commitment to a robust security force, as well as the multitude of steps he’s taken to build and strengthen the international coalition. I am proud that President Ghani is our partner as we combat the growing global threat of radical Islamic terror.”