Stører congratulates Afghanistan’s President Karzai

Jonas Gahr Støre met with President Hamid Karzai at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.

Jonas Gahr Støre (left) in a meeting with President Hamid Karzai at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Photo: The Embassy of Afghanistan, Washington DC.

Hamid Karzai was Nov. 2 declared president of Afghanistan by the country’s Independent Election Commission. “On behalf of the Norwegian Government I would like to congratulate President Karzai on his re-election, and wish him well in the demanding endeavour that lies ahead for him and his next government,” Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre commented.

Yesterday presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah withdrew from the second round of the presidential election, which was then cancelled. Hamid Karzai, who gained most votes in the first round, was declared the country’s next president.

“The Afghan people have been through a long and difficult election process, which has shown the challenges involved in holding an election in a conflict-ridden country. It is regrettable that the election has been marred by election fraud and irregularities. However, it is important to underline that election fraud was revealed and that the scale of this fraud has been thoroughly assessed. There has been no doubt that Hamid Karzai clearly gained more votes than Abdullah Abdullah. Now we should look to the future,” Mr Støre said.

Norway has consistently emphasised that its military and civilian involvement is dependent on the Government of Afghanistan having sufficient legitimacy. It is important that the government that is now formed has the broadest possible public support, in order to secure political stability, security and economic development. This is an Afghan responsibility.

“We are looking forward to good and constructive cooperation with the new government, but we will also require results in the years ahead. We expect the government to step up efforts to combat corruption. We expect human rights and women’s rights to be given high priority, as well as the fight against organised crime. Last but not least, we expect the government to create favourable conditions for security and development for the Afghan people,” Mr Støre commented.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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