Biden makes surprise visit to Afghanistan
January 10th, 2011
10:45 AM ET

Biden makes surprise visit to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Vice President made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday.

"The primary purpose of the trip is to assess progress toward the transition to Afghan-led security beginning this year, and to demonstrate the United States' commitment to a long-term partnership with Afghanistan," the White House said in a statement announcing Biden's arrival in Afghanistan.

According to a report from reporters traveling with Biden, who were briefed by a senior administration official on the flight over, the Vice President plans to meet with General David Petraeus, and U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry on Monday evening to get an "update from them on the situation on the ground." Biden was scheduled to visit an Afghan training facility to get a first hand look at efforts to train Afghan Army and police officers to eventually assume control of the nation's security.

Biden will also meet with President Hamid Karzai where the two plan to have lunch at some point, and also hold meetings with officials from both governments. He also planned on traveling to Bagram Air Base to get a series of briefings from military leaders on the current state of military operations, including the counter-terrorism program, as well as a visit to a counter-insurgency site to see the efforts being made on that front.

There were plans for Biden to greet the staff of the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan during his visit to thank them for their work in difficult conditions.

This is Biden's first visit to Afghanistan as Vice President. He last visited the country in January 2009 as Vice President-elect.

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