Kerry to Visit Afghan Officials, Tour Pakistan Flood Zones

Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:26pm

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry will travel to Pakistan and Afghanistan next week, his office announced Friday.

The Massachusetts Democrat will meet with top Afghan officials, NATO commanders, and American military and civilian leaders during his trip. In Pakistan, Kerry will survey flood damage caused by recent storms that have killed at least 1,400 citizens.

The announcement of Kerry’s trip, his fourth to the region since becoming chairman of the Foreign Relations panel, comes a week after the Obama administration sent $10 million in additional emergency relief funds to Pakistan for flood recovery. The administration has already sent $76 million to the troubled country, considered a key ally in fighting al-Qaida.

“Pakistan is facing its worst flooding in modern history,” Kerry said in a statement. “The destruction from these deadly floods could be worse than the 2005 earthquake. Next week, I plan to visit Pakistan for a firsthand look at the devastated areas.”

“We are committed to providing help for Pakistanis who have been afflicted by this tragedy,” he added.