Presidential Candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah Meets with High Level Foreign Officials
During the past several days, several high level foreign officials met with 2014 Afghanistan Presidential Candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. They included the Foreign Ministers of China and Norway, Senior NATO Civilian Representative to Afghanistan, Ambassador of the United States, several Scandinavian Ambassadors, and Ambassador of India to Afghanistan.
On February 22, during his official visit to Afghanistan, H.E. Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of China met with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. On the same day, Dr. Abdullah also met with Senior NATO Civilian Representative to Afghanistan, H.E. Maurits R. Jochems, as well as with the Ambassador of India to Kabul. On February 23, Dr. Abdullah met with H.E. Borge Brende, Foreign Minister of Norway during his official visit to Afghanistan, as well as with U.S. Ambassador to Kabul, H.E. James B. Cunningham. On February 21, several Scandinavian Ambassadors, including Ambassadors of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland met with Dr. Abdullah at a reception.
In the meetings, a number of issues were discussed, including upcoming Afghan presidential and parliamentary elections, US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement, peace and reconciliation process, regional cooperation, campaign activities of the “Reform and Unanimity” team, and their plan of action to address current challenges facing the country.
The respective foreign officials expressed their condolences and concern over the killing of three members of Dr. Abdullah’s campaign team in Herat province and Sar-i-Pul, and also inquired about the most recent incident in Sorobi district.
Presidential Candidate Dr. Abdullah expressed gratitude and appreciation for the international community’s support for and solidarity with Afghanistan. He also stressed that the people of Afghanistan are looking forward to a new leadership that will be able to effectively tackle the challenges at hand, and strengthen national unity in Afghanistan.
Dr. Abdullah underscored the importance of a transparent, credible and inclusive electoral process. In this regard, he added that it was vital to address the concerns of the people regarding lack of security and possibility of fraud in the elections. This would help strengthen the faith and confidence of the people in the democratic process.
Dr. Abdullah emphasized that a successful electoral process should be the main priority of Afghanistan and the international community, and that it should not be overshadowed by any other issue such as the peace process and the US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement. Dr. Abdullah further noted that a successful launch of a result oriented peace process, and signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement, would be among the initial measures to be taken by his “Reform and Unanimity Team”.
The respective foreign officials indicated that they were eager to see that Afghanistan holds credible elections. They further stressed their long term support for Afghanistan, and noted that they look forward to working closely with the next administration.
February 23, 2014 – Kabul, Afghanistan