Carter calls for free polls, praises ANSF
WASHINGTON (PAN): US Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter has stressed the importance of free and fair elections in Afghanistan next year, as well as the early signing the bilateral security agreement (BSA).
During his three-day visit to Afghanistan, Carter met senior International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) officials, Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, Interior Minister Omar Daudzai and parliamentarians.
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said Carter called for a timely conclusion of the security agreement that would spell out the terms of the US military presence in Afghanistan after an end to the current mission in December 2014.
In a statement, Little said the deputy secretary noted the “tremendous progress” made by the Afghan national security forces (ANSF) this fighting season -- the first in which they assumed full lead.
Carter also met US Ambassador James Cunningham and ISAF Commander Gen. Joseph F. Dunford to discuss progress made on concluding the BSA, supporting the Afghan forces and setting conditions for a stable Afghanistan.
Carter also visited Herat to pay tribute to the men and women affected by the Sept. 13 attack on the US consulate there, and to praise Afghan and ISAF forces for their quick and decisive action.
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