Terror can’t return Taliban to power: Cunningham
“The empty vision of the Taliban, a vision without hope, which glorifies the murder of innocents, which attacks children at sporting events, cannot meet the aspirations of the Afghan people,” he said.
Addressing a farewell reception here, James B. Cunningham hailed Afghan security forces as brave fighters. With international support, they would emerge better and stronger, he hoped.
Democracy in Afghanistan has struggled, as all young democracies do, according to the diplomat, who referred to the first peaceful transfer of political authority to a new president, as well as formation of the unity government.
He hoped that Afghans would demand of themselves and their leaders the commitment, responsibility and respect for others that would permit peaceful political competition and accommodation.
“That they will build the broad cultural, religious and political space required to bring together all Afghans in a national project which rejects violence and terror, fights for peace, respects human rights and the rights of women...”
Regarding the presidential vote, he said millions of courageous men and women cast their ballots, and at personal risk. It was a remarkable phenomenon under any circumstance, the ambassador noted.
In his remarks, Cunningham cited his efforts to strengthen the partnership between the two countries and peoples. “For Leslie and me, this has been the experience of a lifetime. We prepare to depart with a bittersweet feeling of sadness and optimism – and an enduring respect for this country...”
He paid tribute to the memory of the many people – military and civilian, Afghan, American and from coalition, who made the ultimate sacrifice, in the pursuit of a more secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
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