Shaheen Announces Afghanistan Ambassador as Guest for NATO Secretary General’s Joint Address to Congress

April 03, 2019

**Senator Shaheen, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations & Armed Services Committees, is also Co-Chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group, which She Re-Established Last Year with Senator Thom Tillis**

*Roya Rahmani is the Afghan Ambassador to the United States**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced that today she’ll bring Afghan Ambassador Roya Rahmani, the first female ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States, to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s Joint Address to Congress. 

“I am thankful for Ambassador Rahmani’s willingness to join me at today’s joint session of Congress with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg. Her presence is a reminder of how NATO Allies came together on September 12, 2001 to invoke Article 5 of the NATO charter— for the first and only time— in defense of the United States. She is also the first female ambassador of Afghanistan, which not only represents the immense progress Afghanistan has made since that day, but what is at stake if the United States does not push for Afghan women to be included in negotiations with the Taliban. It is the policy of the United States to ensure that women have a place in all such negotiations, and nowhere is this more needed than in Afghanistan,” said Shaheen. “I look forward to Secretary General Stoltenberg’s address which is an important opportunity for Congress to demonstrate unwavering support for the NATO Alliance. As a co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group, I’ll continue to work across the aisle in the Senate to ensure there is always a steadfast commitment to our transatlantic bond.” 

Senator Shaheen has been a champion for women’s global issues, and wrote the law that bolsters women’s roles in peace negotiations and conflict resolution around the world. In February, Shaheen led a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging the administration to prioritize women’s inclusion in peace negotiations between the United States and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and to protect the United States’ investment in the rights of women and girls. Shaheen has also spearheaded legislation to address barriers that girls around the world face in accessing education and combating global violence against women.