This is an attack on the Afghan people, as they begin to take their country's security in their own hands. On behalf of the NATO Alliance, I send my heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those brave Afghans who died and were injured today in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation. I pay special tribute to Dr Rabbani, whom I met earlier this year in Kabul, and who was leading the peace and reconciliation effort that is vital for the future of Afghanistan.
To those who offer only death and destruction to the Afghan people, our message is clear: you will not prevail. You will not stop the Afghan people from taking their destiny in their own hands and you will not shake the resolve of the international and Afghan partnership. We will continue to work shoulder to shoulder to provide a better and safer future for the Afghan people.