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Rasmussen stresses credible, transparent vote

Rasmussen stresses credible, transparent vote

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Apr 02, 2014 - 17:00

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The NATOinfo-icon secretary-general on Wednesday stressed Saturday’s presidential and provincial elections must be credible, inclusive and transparent.

“It’s now crucial … the outcome is broadly acceptable to the Afghan people and any alleged violations are addressed swiftly through established institutions,” he said.

In his opening remarks at a meeting of ISAFinfo-icon foreign ministers in Brussels, Anders Fogh Rasmussen called the polls another pivotal moment for Afghanistaninfo-icon.

He said the Afghan government had committed to ensure a transparent vote. “That is what the International Community expects. And that is what the Afghan people deserve.”

In a statement from the Western bloc, he said Afghan forces could be proud of being able to stand their ground and facilitate a new and demanding voter registration process. 

On Election Day, they would protect polling centres to enable fellow citizens to exercise the rights they had fought to protect, the secretary-general added.

The meeting will discuss continued support through ISAF and plans for a new train, advise and assist mission, beginning next year. It will also assess the impact of delays in conclusion of the status-of-forces agreement.

“We stand by our commitments to Afghanistan. But the longer it takes for the agreements to be signed, the less we may be able to do.  It is not our desired outcome. But if there is no agreement, there will be no mission.”

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