Remarks With Afghan Presidential Candidate Ashraf Ghani Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Kabul, Afghanistan
July 11, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: I want to say very quickly that it’s a pleasure to meet with Dr. Ghani again. We know each other well; we’ve had many, many discussions through the years, and I’m here because President Obama and the United States of America are deeply interested in a unified, democratic, and stable Afghanistan. We obviously have high hopes that the questions about the election will be resolved quickly, can be resolved, and that a way forward can take place which can give Afghans confidence that they have a presidency and a government that is capable of unifying all Afghans and building a road to the future. So that’s why I’m here and we’re going to have a lot to talk about. Thank you.

MR. GHANI: May I take a moment? It’s a great honor and pleasure to welcome Secretary of State Kerry to Afghanistan. He’s been a friend of Afghanistan for many years. I’ve had the pleasure and honor to work with him personally on the security agreement and a range of other issues. We are delighted the Secretary is here.

Our commitment is to ensure that the election process enjoys the integrity and the legitimacy that the people of Afghanistan and the world will believe. Therefore, we believe in the most intensive and extensive audit possible to restore faith. Simultaneously, from day one when we accepted our nominations, our commitment has been to an inclusive government, a government that could represent all of Afghans and serve every Afghan citizen in the manner that every Afghan deserves according to the constitution.

We are delighted that you’re here, Mr. Secretary, and look very much forward to conversation.

SECRETARY KERRY: Likewise we do, and obviously as the doctor has said previously, no one is declaring victory at this time. The results are yet to be finalized, and so those questions have to be resolved, and I’m very appreciative that Dr. Ghani respects that fact.

MR. GHANI: Absolutely.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, sir.

MR. GHANI: Thank you.