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Homeland security chief arrives in Afghanistan

By the CNN Wire Staff
Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano will spend New Year's Eve in Afghanistan with U.S. troops.
Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano will spend New Year's Eve in Afghanistan with U.S. troops.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Napolitano visits a key crossing point on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border
  • The trip comes as U.S. officials are working to help strengthen Afghanistan's border police
  • Napolitano is scheduled to meet with senior U.S. and Afghan officials
  • The visit is part of a week-long trip that also includes stops in Qatar, Israel and Belgium
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(CNN) -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano arrived in Afghanistan on Friday and planned to spend New Year's Eve with U.S. troops in the region.

She reviewed security operations at a key point along the Pakistani border, part of an ongoing U.S. effort to strengthen Afghanistan's border police.

"Building and maintaining a strong border crossing system is critical to the stability and security of Afghanistan," Napolitano said in a written statement. "Over the past year, the Department of Homeland Security has worked closely with the Afghan government to help establish a border security and customs system to counter terrorism while facilitating legitimate travel and trade."

After her border visit, Napolitano had lunch with a group of U.S. and allied troops.

Napolitano is scheduled to meet with a number of senior U.S. and Afghan officials during her visit, part of a week-long trip that also includes stops in Qatar, Israel and Belgium.

Six U.S. border security and customs officers are traveling with Napolitano, an earlier statement said.

Recent U.S.-led training efforts in Afghanistan have focused on stopping bulk cash smuggling and shipments of ammonium nitrate, according to a November statement released by the State Department.