Paris, October 20, 2009
President Sarkozy congratulates the Afghan people on the courage, determination and wisdom they displayed throughout the election campaign and the election. Those who were able to cast their vote, despite the violence and the difficulties, demonstrated their commitment to democracy and reaffirmed their will to choose those who govern them.
After long weeks spent examining the results, these were announced at the end of a rigorous process that does Afghanistan credit. The established institutions worked properly and made it possible to rectify the results by eliminating fraud.
President Karzai garnered by far the strongest show of support by the Afghan people in the first round. Dr Abdullah too obtained an important result which shows that his message was heard in the country. The final choice is now up to the Afghan people themselves.
President Karzai’s statement demonstrates that he is a statesman capable of distinguishing what is essential in the overriding interests of his country and the unity of the Afghan people. The Head of State wishes to salute him warmly.
France will remain engaged alongside the Afghan people and their future government. We will work with it to build an independent, stable Afghanistan free from terrorism. This requires new governance, the assumption of greater responsibility for security by the Afghans themselves, and the integration into Afghan political life of all those who renounce violence./.
Communiqué issued by Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
I welcome the announcement of the results of the August 20th presidential election, an announcement that concludes a painstaking verification and monitoring process. The two verification bodies demonstrated the patience and tenacity needed to ensure the transparency and honesty of the final results. They should be accepted by all. It is now up to the Afghans to take the next step in keeping with the established constitutional order.
Although a second round presents obvious logistical difficulties, this result is also a sign of the democratic advances and the consolidation of the rule of law in Afghanistan. We urge all the candidates to strive to ensure that the next stage of the election process unfolds peacefully and in the best possible conditions.
As I emphasized to President Karzai and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah during my recent visit to Kabul, France stands by Afghanistan’s side to help it in its task of stabilization and reconstruction./.