Officials Laud Afghans for Election Roles

KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 20, 2010 — The com­man­der of the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force in Afghanistan and NATO’s senior civil­ian rep­re­sen­ta­tive here praised the peo­ple who par­tic­i­pat­ed in, orga­nized and secured Afghanistan’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

In state­ments released Sept. 18, the day of the elec­tion, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambas­sador Mark Sed­will com­ment­ed on the first par­lia­men­tary elec­tions planned, orga­nized and man­aged by Afghans since the fall of the Tal­iban in 2001.

“The peo­ple of Afghanistan sent a pow­er­ful mes­sage today,” Petraeus said. “The voice of Afghanistan’s future does not belong to the vio­lent extrem­ists and ter­ror net­works. It belongs to the peo­ple.

“I com­mend, in par­tic­u­lar, the Afghan nation­al secu­ri­ty forces, who per­formed so brave­ly today in safe­guard­ing a weapon with greater poten­tial than any oth­er: the people’s right to vote and to have a say in the future of their coun­try,” the gen­er­al added. “It was an hon­or on this day, espe­cial­ly, for NATO ISAF forces to sup­port our Afghan part­ners. We also salute the Afghan Elec­toral Com­mis­sion per­son­nel, the team of experts from the U.N., and the Afghan and inter­na­tion­al observers for their con­tri­bu­tions in the prepa­ra­tion for and the con­duct of today’s elec­tions.”

Sed­will said the elec­tions have once again shown that the peo­ple of Afghanistan want the chance to elect their lead­ers. “For NATO, ISAF and our Afghan part­ners,” he said, “it’s clear that the future of Afghanistan remains one where vio­lence can­not over­throw the demo­c­ra­t­ic will of the peo­ple. NATO stands firm in its sup­port to Afghanistan and in its shared fight against ter­ror­ism and extrem­ism that seeks to destroy the suc­cess­es of the past nine years.”

From an Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force News Release

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