VP lands Monday, slated to meet with Karzai, U.S. service members and tour Afghan National Army Training Center.
VPOTUS Pool #2:
VPOTUS exited AF2 at 7:37 pm. and shook hands with the greeters mentioned in previous pool report.
He heloed to the U.S. embassy in Kabul with Petraeus and Eikenberry. They are currently in the middle of their meeting.
There will be a pool spray at the bottom of the meeting.
There was supposed to be a pool spray at the top of VPOTUS’s meeting but pool was delayed because the first helo we got into had a malfunction and was unable to make the trip.
VPOTUS arrived ahead of pool.
After getting into a 2nd helo, pool was wheels up from Kabul airport at 8:10 pm local. It was a 15 minute flight and a short motorcade to the embassy.
Pool arrived at the embassy around 8:30 pm and is holding at a dining facility there.
Pool Report: Kabul, Afghanistan
January 10, 2011
Vice President Biden has made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan.
He arrived Monday at night and during his stay is scheduled to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, greet members of the U.S. military and civilian personnel and visit an Afghan National Army Training Center. This is Biden’s first trip to Afghanistan as vice president.
Air Force Two was wheels down at Kabul International Airport at 7:24 pm local time. (Kabul is 9.5 hours ahead of Eastern time.)
VPOTUS was greeted on the tarmac by Amb. Karl Eikenberry, Gen. David Petraeus and three Afghan officials: Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, First Vice President of Afghanistan; Amb. Hamid Siddiq, Chief of Protocol; Mr. Nasir Andisha, Head of Fifth Political.
From a White House Official:
“The primary purpose of the trip is to assess progress toward the transition to Afghan-led security beginning in 2011, and to demonstrate our commitment to a long- term partnership with Afghanistan. While here, the Vice President Hamid Karzai, visit with U.S. servicemembers and civilian personnel, and visit an Afghan National Army Training Center. This is Vice President Biden’s first trip to Afghanistan as Vice President. He last visited the country in January 2009 as Vice President-elect.”
AF2 was wheels up from Andrews AFB Sunday at 5:43 pm. Shortly after wheels up, VPOTUS was sporting a black Philadelphia Eagles baseball cap. The Eagles-Packers playoff game was playing on the TVs on board, although it cut out in the 4th quarter.
AF2 made a refueling stop at Ramstein AFB en route to Kabul.
More coming as security restrictions permit.
About 40 minutes before AF2 was wheels down, a senior administration official traveling with VPOTUS briefed reporters on the trip. Quotes and more details coming.
The official said VPOTUS will meet with Petraeus and Eikenberry Monday night for an hour or more to get an “update from them on the situation on the ground.”
VPOTUS and Karzai will have lunch during the trip. They will also hold a larger, expanded meeting with officials from both teams and will have some likely one-on-one time.
VPOTUS and Karzai will make statements after the meeting, the official said.
VPOTUS is traveling with a small group of staff, a large security detail and six reporters.
His arrival in Afghanistan was a surprise because of security concerns, although the senior administration official who briefed reporters said Karzai was informed of the visit last week.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
January 10, 2011
Vice President Biden Arrives in Afghanistan
Vice President Biden has arrived in Afghanistan. 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. While in Afghanistan, the Vice President will meet with President Hamid Karzai, visit with U.S. service members and civilian personnel, and tour an Afghan National Army Training Center. The Vice President last visited Afghanistan in January 2009 as Vice President-elect.