by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with Non-NATO ISAF contributing nations
Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to this meeting of ISAF Foreign Ministers.
The conclusion of the presidential elections was another important milestone for Afghanistan. We saw the extraordinary enthusiasm of Afghan men and women as they went to the polls. And we saw capable and confident Afghan forces securing those elections across the country.
It is now critical that the Afghan authorities complete the electoral process openly, fairly and quickly. Allegations of electoral irregularities must be addressed through the proper channels. Everyone must play a constructive role. And both candidates must respect the final result.
We remain focused on completing our ISAF mission. We are on track to hand over full security responsibility to the Afghans at the end of this year. Today, we will take further steps in planning our new mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces after 2014. And we look forward to working with the new President to finalise the security agreements which are fundamental to the launch of this new mission.
We will also discuss the future financial sustainment of the Afghan troops and police, while recognising that the long-term goal is for Afghanistan to be able to sustain its own forces. And we will look ahead to a new stage in our enduring partnership with Afghanistan. That is what we agreed to do, and we are sticking to our commitments.
And with that, I conclude this public part of our session and thank the media for their attendance.