ISLAMABAD - US Ambassador Cameron Munter and Dr Marilyn Wyatt visited Muzaffarabad and Bagh Wednesday to highlight the United States’ support for educational opportunities and local development in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Ambassador Munter’s visit, his first to the region, was an opportunity to renew ties with the leadership of AJK. “Today’s visit is an important opportunity for me to renew the friendship between the US and AJK,” Ambassador Munter said. “As we demonstrated with our support to AJK following the devastating 2005 earthquake, and as we continue to show with our assistance today, the United States has an enduring partnership with this region.” In Muzaffarabad, the US envoy met with a delegation of AJK government officials, including AJK PM Chaudhry Abdul Majid and Opposition Leader Raja Farooq Haider Khan to discuss current issues in the region. Jointly with AJK President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, Ambassador Munter presented US-funded scholarships to 115 students who are pursuing degrees in teaching. The scholarships are part of a five-year $75 million teacher education project that the USAID is funding across Pakistan and AJK. Ambassador Munter also met with local community members who have benefited from US grant programmes to discuss how these grants have helped improve life in their communities. The US has funded a variety of projects in the region that were designed by community members to meet pressing local needs. Projects include: rebuilt roads to link remote communities, flood control structures and micro hydro electric power stations to power small towns, and health camps to improve access to health care in remote areas. In Bagh, Ambassador Munter met students and school leadership from the Government Boy’s High School and the Government Girl’s High School in Arja. The US funded the reconstruction of both schools following the 2005 earthquake. The diplomat toured the boy’s school and emphasized that the US is committed to improving access to quality education in the region.