MacKay says Karzai 'optimistic' in face of attacks
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2007 4:07PM EST
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 7:09PM EDT
Defense Minister Peter MacKay met with President Hamid Karzai before wrapping up his trip to Afghanistan Wednesday.
The two discussed what appears to be the country's deteriorating security situation in the wake of high profile attacks by anti-government forces, including a deadly suicide bombing Tuesday.
At least 60 people were killed -- including 18 school children and six parliamentarians -- when a suicide bomber blew himself up as a delegation of politicians were about to enter a sugar factory Northern Afghanistan.
MacKay said after the meeting that the Afghan people will continue to build a stable and democratic country despite the horrific violence.
"Yes, this is an undeniable tragedy and one that has shocked many," MacKay said.
"And yet this is not going to deter the Afghan people on their road to a stable, democratic, fully-functioning society."
MacKay has not been immune during his visit from the violence that plagues Afghanistan.
Shortly after his arrival at a military operating base in Southern Afghanistan, the area was attacked by a pair of rockets. MacKay was unhurt.
Karzai asked MacKay about the incident. The two also spoke about the attack on Afghan school children and politicians.
"My honest assessment of President Karzai's reaction was one of resilience, perseverance, bordering on optimism as far as his belief in the progress that has been made," MacKay said.
Karzai declared three days of mourning following the attack, which is described as the worst such incident since the U.S. invasion of the country in 2001.
With files from the Canadian Press