June 8th, 2008 10:53 EST
Mrs. George Bush visits President of war-torn Afghanistan
U.S. first lady Laura Bush, on an unannounced visit to war-torn Afghanistan Sunday, is meeting with the country`s president Hamid Karzai.
Mrs. Bush told reporters the international community cannot drop Afghanistan now at what she called "this very crucial time."
The first lady is in Afghanistan to highlight signs of progress it has made, and to urge international support for the country, which the Bush administration has declared a main front in the battle against Islamic extremists.
During her visit, Mrs. Bush is to visit several projects, including a road construction site. She also planned to visit female recruits at a police training academy and U.S. troops.
The first lady flew by helicopter from Kabul to Bamiyan, where she viewed the ruins of two ancient Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
Her trip comes ahead of a donors` conference Thursday in Paris, where the United States will urge the international community to pledge aid for Afghanistan.
After leaving Afghanistan, Mrs. Bush will head to Slovenia where she will be joined by her husband Monday at a U.S. - European Union summit.