BRUSSELS (Pajhwok): Praising Afghan security forces for securing the April 5 elections, NATO Secretary General on Wednesday said the alliance continued to plan for a new post-2014 mission to train, advise and assist them.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen told NATO denfence ministers, who resumed their two-day summit in Brussels, that Afghan men and women would take part in the second round of presidential elections on June, which he said would lead to the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan’s history.
He said the Afghan government and security forces had been working hard to prepare for the historic vote.
“We have all been impressed by the enthusiasm of nearly 7 million people, young and old, who cast their votes in the first round. This was a great success for the Afghan authorities, a clear rejection of the Taliban and a significant victory for the Afghan people,” he remarked.
In securing the elections, he said, the Afghan security forces did an outstanding job by protecting over 6,200 polling centres, allowing the Afghan people to exercise their democratic rights. “They deserve great credit for their effectiveness and professionalism,” he added.
In addition to the political transition in Afghanistan, he reiterated the security transition to full Afghan security responsibility was on track and that “we will complete our combat mission at the end of the year.”
He said the US renewed contribution to the Resolute Support Mission and the continued dedication of NATO allies and partners demonstrated their enduring commitment to stand with Afghanistan.
“I once again congratulate the Afghan people for stepping forward to shape the future of their country. We now look forward to a second round of successful elections and to furthering the partnership between Afghanistan and NATO,” he concluded.