U.S. Sen. Richard Burr has just returned from a visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan and said he was optimistic that efforts against the Taliban there had turned the corner.
Burr, a Winston-Salem Republican, is a member of the Armed Services and Intelligence committees, and is the ranking member on the Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Burr was part of a congressional delegation that met with General David Petraeus, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir of Pakistan and Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of of the Army Staff of Pakistan.
Burr said he saw considerable improvement, particularly in the southern provinces of Afghanistan since he visited a year ago.
“The progress was evident as we were able to walk through village bazaars and travel across regions of the country which just last year were major Taliban strongholds,” Burr said in a statement.
“I am optimistic that we have started to turn the corner and that we will be in a position to hand over regions of the country to Afghan control this spring.”
Burr traveled with Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Marco Rubio of Florida and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. All are Republicans.