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Ghani assures NATO of timely, fair Afghan elections

Ghani assures NATO of timely, fair Afghan elections

Jul 15, 2018 - 18:52

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani assured NATOinfo-icon during a recent heads of state summit that elections in his country would be held in time, the western military alliance’s Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) said on Sunday.

During an exclusive interview, NATO SCR Cornelius Zimmermann told Pajhwok Afghan News that all member states declared their support for Afghanistaninfo-icon at the Brussels summit.  He termed the leaders’ joint statement ‘a huge achievement for Afghanistan.’

In addition, he said that the reaffirmation of Allies' and partners' committment to sustain the NATO-les Resolute Support (RS) mission and their commitment to provide financial support to the Afghan security forces through 2024 were two big achievements for Afghanistan.

Zimmermann recalled that the Afghan side talked about some of their efforts such implementation of reforms and the fight against corruption at the NATO summit.

“The purpose of NATO presence in Afghanistan is to support Afghan security forces and create a strong environmentinfo-icon for peace and reconciliation,” he said.

He hailed the Afghan government’s reform agenda and added that eradication of corruption from the Ministry of Defense and other security institutions was a major achievement.

When asked about upcoming polls, the NATO SCR said President Ghani had assured NATO members during the Brussels summit to conduct free, fair and transparent election.

But the president also said there were some challenges which could be overcome by the Afghan government with NATO train and advise mission support.

He said initially people took little interest in the Oct 20 elections due to security concerns, but then their interest grew and above eight million people registered as voters.

“People now understand that election is not merely vote casting but a very important process of a nation-building.”

When asked about the peace process, Zimmermann said NATO fully supported the Afghan peace process.

He said the Talibaninfo-icon should understand they could not win on the battlefield so they should join the peace process.

nh/ma

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