September 21, 2014
This was a moment of extraordinary statesmanship. These two men have put the people of Afghanistan first, and they’ve ensured that the first peaceful democratic transition in the history of their country begins with national unity.
Americans know very well that the road to democracy is contentious and challenging, but it’s a road that leads to the best place. It doesn’t happen overnight. We’ve had our own contentious elections and witnessed their aftermath. I’ve lived some of them. But if my recent visits to Kabul and the hours upon hours on the phone with these two men have taught me anything, it’s how invested Afghanistan is in this historic effort.
In the days to come, Afghanistan has an enormous opportunity to grow stronger from this recent moment of testing.
Elections are not the end. They must be the beginning, where Afghanistan and its people move forward on a reform agenda and make improvements to the electoral process.
The inauguration of the new President, appointment of his Chief Executive, and the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement and NATO SOFA will open a new chapter in our enduring partnership with Afghanistan.
The United States remains determined to honor the Afghan people’s historic achievement by helping their transition succeed.