East County News Service
Photo: Congresswoman Davis at U.S. Institute for Peace forum on democracy and women's rights in Afghanistan
October 23, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA-53), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan and Jordan with a high-level bipartisan Congressional delegation led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The delegation met with top diplomats, military leaders and troops, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
“I was pleased to be a part of this delegation trip designed to strengthen relationships with our allies and discuss national security issues, especially in light of the deepening crisis in Syria after Turkey’s military incursion and increased violence by the Taliban,” said Rep. Davis, a San Diego Democrat whose district includes portions of East County. “This delegation trip provided members with the latest information on the ground and will inform us as we continue to create U.S. policy toward the region.”
The peace process with the Taliban was the top subject in a briefing the delegation received from Ambassador John Bass. The briefing also covered the pending results from the presidential election in September.
In Afghanistan, the delegation met with President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and other senior government officials. The discussion focused on addressing corruption, which undermines security and economic stability for the Afghan people. Ensuring women have a seat at the table on all aspects of Afghanistan’s future was also heavily emphasized, and this issue remains a top priority for Davis.
“As someone who has traveled to Afghanistan many times, expanded opportunities for girls and women in Afghanistan are a key component to lasting peace and prosperity in the country,” said Davis.
Davis has been instrumental in ensuring that a portion of the U.S. funding for the Afghan Security Forces goes towards the recruitment and retention of women. The delegation met with civil leaders in Afghanistan, including Afghan women.
The delegation received operational briefings from General Austin Miller, U.S. commander of Resolute Support Mission, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who was also in Afghanistan. Members traveled to Camp Morehead where they met U.S. troops and Afghan security forces.
This trip marks the 16th time Davis has traveled to Afghanistan. Since 2007, Davis has led an annual bipartisan Mother’s Day trip with women in Congress.
Prior to Afghanistan, members met with King Abdullah II of Jordan, Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, and senior Jordanian officials.
The meeting reaffirmed the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Jordan. The discussion focused on regional stability and security, counterterrorism efforts, the goal of peace in the Middle East, and economic development.
Other members on the trip included Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee; Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), House Foreign Affairs Committee; Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), House Homeland Security Committee; Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), House Ways and Means Committee; Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Chairman, House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security; and Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), member of the House Armed Services Committee.
Congresswoman Davis represents the 53rd Congressional District, which includes central San Diego, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and parts of El Cajon and Chula Vista. She has announced her retirement after her term expires in January 2021.