NATO congratulates Ghani and Abdullah on inauguration day
Ambassador Maurits Jochems, NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, attended the swearing of Dr. Ashraf Ghani as President of Afghanistan at a ceremony held today [Monday, 29 September] in Kabul. The event also saw the appointment of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah as Chief Executive Officer of the National Unity Government, as agreed by the two candidates on 21 September.
“I want to congratulate President Ashraf Ghani on his inauguration and also Abdullah Abdullah on his appointment as Chief Executive Officer. I wish them well as they lead Afghanistan into a future of promise and peace that all Afghans want and deserve”, Ambassador Jochems said in Kabul. “The NATO Alliance and its partners look forward to working with the new government to enhance security and stability in Afghanistan”.
The inauguration marks the conclusion of the third presidential elections since the fall of the Taliban and the first peaceful transfer of power in Afghanistan. These were the first elections to be entirely driven, managed, owned and secured by the Afghan government and institutions.
President Ghani is elected for a five-year term. He succeeds to President Hamid Karzai after 13 consecutive years in office.
One of the first duties of the new Afghan administration will be the signing of the US Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) which will provide the necessary legal framework for the launch of NATO’s train, advise, and assist mission in Afghanistan in 2015. The mission, known as Resolute Support, will aim to pursue NATO’s support for the professionalization of Afghan security forces. It is one of a three-pillar commitment that NATO will make to Afghanistan after the completion of ISAF at the end of 2014, along with support to the long-term financial sustainment of the Afghan security forces and enhanced practical and political cooperation with Afghanistan. It is expected that the signing ceremony will take place in Kabul on Tuesday [30 September].