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Afganhistan: final election results applauded

Afganhistan: Security Council applauds final election results, refuge agency chief tours

The United Nations Security Council this morning congratulated the people of Afghanistan on the confirmation of the final results for the parliamentary and provincial council elections as paving the way toward the timely inauguration of the new parliament and the conclusion of its transitional political phase.

In a presidential statement read by the Council President for November, Ambassador Andrey Denisov of the Russian Federation, the Council also expressed its hope for the prompt appointment of all members of the House of Elders, or Meshrano Jirga.

The transitional political process was agreed in 2001 at an international conference in Bonn, Germany, after the ouster of the Taliban regime.

The Council again thanked all those who contributed to the electoral process, reaffirmed how important it was for the international community to maintain a high level of commitment to assisting Afghanistan in addressing such remaining challenges as improving security, governance and development and fighting terrorist and narcotic threats.

Violence in any form intended to disrupt the democratic process in Afghanistan would not be tolerated, the Council said, as it condemned unequivocally all recent attacks in the country, including assaults on the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and extended its sympathies to the victims and the families.

Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres called on the Government of Afghanistan to take into account the needs of the repatriating refugees when it explains its development plans to a conference to be held in London early next year.

Speaking at a news conference at the end of his first mission to the country, he said: "I encourage all three governments – Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan – to play a constructive role in addressing this issue, together with the UN refugee agency."

During his meeting yesterday with President Karzai on the first day of his two-day visit, Mr. Guterres said: "We're now entering a new stage in the return and reintegration of Afghan refugees. Return will continue to be the main solution for Afghans living in asylum countries, but a new approach needs to be developed and UNHCR remains committed to finding a durable solution."

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