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Cablegate: Nato Secgen Makes Statement On Afghan Elections

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OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHSL RUEHYG
DE RUEHNO #0360 2321801
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201801Z AUG 09
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 1241
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3314
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1034
RHMFIUU/USNMR SHAPE BE PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USDELMC BRUSSELS BE PRIORITY

UNCLAS USNATO 000360

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV NATO MOPS MARR AF
SUBJECT: NATO SECGEN MAKES STATEMENT ON AFGHAN ELECTIONS

1. (U) On August 20, Secretary General Rasmussen released a
statement on the elections in Afghanistan and took a few
questions from journalist. Below is the text of the
statement as well as a summary of the questions and
answers.

2. (U) The full text of the Secretary General's statement
follows:

BEGIN TEXT

20 Aug. 2009

Statement by the Secretary General of NATO Afghan elections

Today the world has been watching Afghanistan. We have
witnessed the first Afghan-led elections in thirty years; a
testimony to the determination of the Afghan people to build
democracy. I want to congratulate the people of
Afghanistan for the courage they have shown in spite of
challenging circumstances.

We have seen Afghanistan defying threats of intimidation and
violence to exercise their democratic rights. Seen
from a security point of view, the elections today have been
a success, not least thanks to the efforts of the
Afghan National Security Forces.

They have led security efforts and they should be applauded.
They have done everything possible to make
these elections as secure and as inclusive as possible. So,
all in all, the elections today have been conducted
effectively.

END TEXT

3. (U) Below is a summary of the question and answer period
provided by our Public Affairs office:

Q: Low turnout?
A: Premature to say anything regarding turnout, important
that election seen as credible in the eyes of the Afghan
people. Situation better than expected.

Q: Recent violence, die down after election?
A: Knew in advance enemies of Afghanistan would try to block
elections through terror attacks, not a surprise.
Security point of view, situation much better than could have
been expected. No one know what will come but urge
all candidates to handle outcome in a responsible manner.

Q: What if winners do not share NATO's view on how to proceed?
A: Met leading candidates recently and all assured me of
willingness to coop after elections, embark on
reconciliation process which is way forward.
BYRNES

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