Statement by the Secretary General on the inauguration of President Karzai

  • 19 Nov. 2009 -
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  • Press Release (2009) 177
  • Issued on 19 Nov. 2009
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  • Last updated: 19 Nov. 2009 10:01

On behalf of NATO, I congratulate President Karzai on taking office for his second term as leader of Afghanistan. This is an historic event: the second time in modern Afghan history that a government has taken office peacefully. It is a testimony to the courage of the Afghan people, and their determination to exercise their hard-won democratic right to choose their own leaders.

Joint press conference with NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace.

President Hamid Karzai has our best wishes for his second five-year term. We strongly support his intention to form a capable and inclusive administration, and to make it accountable, one in which corruption has no place.   It is critically important that the Afghan people, and the citizens of the countries sending troops to the international mission, see concrete progress in this regard.

We are entering a time of transition. Afghans will increasingly take leadership of their own affairs. NATO, through the International Security Assistance Force, will work with the new Government to enable the Afghan National Security Forces to assume lead responsibility for their country’s security, district by district and province by province, when conditions permit.