UN Security Council voices support for fair Afghan elections: spokesman

08:15, June 25, 2010      

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A delegation of the UN Security Council has wrapped up its mission to Afghanistan Thursday, voicing their support for free and fair elections scheduled there for September, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said here.

Ertugrul Apakan, the Turkish ambassador to the UN who led the mission, said Council members were briefed on various challenges related to the legislative elections set for September 18, Nesirky told reporters here at the daily press briefing.

Apakan reiterated that free and fair elections are necessary and voiced that the 15-nation Council welcomed the strong participation of women candidates, said Nesirky.

The elections will be the first ones conducted by Afghan institutions. The preliminary list of candidates holds names of over 400 women.

"They also emphasized the importance of economic and social development for the future of Afghanistan and welcomed the trend to improved local governance,"said Nesirky.

During the four-day mission, members also met with senior Afghan government officials, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai and members of his cabinet, as well as with representatives of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC).

The mission also stopped in Jalalabad where the 15-nation Council met with local authorities, UN staff and Afghan returnees.

The visit came at a critical juncture right after the Consultative Peace Jirga which was held earlier June and before July's Kabul Conference.

The Kabul Conference set for July 20 is a follow up of London Conference held in January where the international community renewed support to Afghan government and strengthening Afghan national security forces.

Situation in the war-torn country, reconstruction process, national reconciliation with the armed oppositions and the ways and means to end the war and ensure lasting peace in Afghanistan would be discussed in the Kabul Conference.

Source: Xinhua


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