Thu, Oct

Obama, Ban promise support to president-elect



US President Barack Obama on Sunday called president-elect Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and CEO-designate Dr Abdullah Abdullah on reaching an agreement on a unity government, the White House said.


“The president spoke with Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah earlier today to congratulate them on concluding their agreement for a government of national unity and safeguarding the first democratic and peaceful transfer of leadership in Afghanistan’s history,” said a statement from the White House.
Obama thanked Ghani and Abdullah for their leadership and willingness to partner to advance Afghanistan's national interests, the source said, adding the president reaffirmed the US strategic partnership with Afghanistan and commitment to continued support to the new administration.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the agreement on a national unity government and the Independent Election Commission's announcement of the president-elect paved the way for a stable and more prosperous future for the country.
“The new government will face serious challenges, and I urge the president-elect, the chief executive and all political actors in Afghanistan to quickly form the government of national unity,” Ban said.
He reiterated the support for Afghanistan expressed by the international community during the Security Council debate on September 18. The United Nations remained committed to working closely with the new government, he affirmed.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council also welcomed the agreement and emphasized the importance of all parties in Afghanistan working within the framework of the government of unity in order to achieve a unified, peaceful and prosperous future for all the people of Afghanistan.
Separately, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the peaceful agreement would bring additional stability and prosperity to Afghanistan by ensuring that all Afghan citizens would be represented by the new government, and by the historic transfer of power from one president to the next.
“We congratulate the Afghan people for their continued commitment to the democratic process as they patiently awaited this announcement. Canada recognizes that a vast majority of Afghans have chosen a path toward economic development, free of corruption and are determined to act in Afghanistan’s national interests,” he said.
Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Afghanistan will now transition from one elected leader to another.
“The Afghan people can be proud of the role they played.  The election, especially the tabulation, has been rough, but there is cause for hope, if things change.  After nearly 13 years under the failed policies of the Karzai administration, Afghanistan desperately needs a fresh start with a new leader and innovative ideas,” he said.
"It is now time for all parties to set aside their differences, abide by their commitments to form a national-unity government, and embrace a set of common goals to achieve a stable Afghanistan.  Afghanistan otherwise will be a failed state, with disastrous consequences for Afghans, and greater dangers to U.S. national security,” he said.
"President-elect Ghani must confront many challenges, including rampant corruption, revenue shortfalls, and a very challenging security situation.  I look forward to working with him and Abdullah Abdullah to ensure that Afghanistan remains a key security partner of the United States," Royce said.