WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on President Ashraf Ghani’s Inauguration and the signing of the U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement:

“I want to congratulate President Ashraf Ghani on his inauguration yesterday. I join millions of Afghans and leaders around the world in wishing him well. Now, the hard work begins. Afghanistan faces a range of challenges, and the Afghan people have put their trust in the new President to guide their country forward.

“By signing our bilateral security agreement straightaway, President Ghani is off to a good start. Taking this quick action sends a strong message to the Taliban and those who seek to undermine the U.S.-Afghanistan partnership. I look forward to working with President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah to strengthen U.S.-Afghan ties, and to jointly build on the progress of the past 12 years.”