Vice President Dick Cheney, celebrating democratic milestones in countries where US-led invasions have toppled governments, promised Afghans that the United States will not abandon its commitment to their infant democracy.
Cheney's presence in a front-row seat at the opening of the Afghan parliament came a day after a surprise visit to Iraq, where the vice president basked in the afterglow of that nation's successful parliamentary elections last week.
Cheney did not speak at the inaugural ceremonies for Afghanistan's national assembly, where 249 people, many in turbans or headscarves, took their oaths of office. By simply attending, the vice president reflected the significance of the day to a White House that is in full campaign mode to improve its image and shore up the campaign against terror.
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