WASHINGTON -- Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., delivered the following remarks regarding the Afghanistan election on the Senate floor today, July 9. Levin returned from a trip to Afghanistan earlier this week.
I just returned from Afghanistan, where I met with the two presidential candidates, Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Both Dr. Ghani and Dr. Abdullah are impressive men who have committed to reformist agendas and campaigned throughout the country. Afghanistan is fortunate to have two such capable presidential candidates. In the course of my meetings with the two candidates last Sunday and indeed during many meetings over the years, each has told me that he appreciates the support the United States has provided to their country and each will sign a Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States as soon as possible after the next president is inaugurated.
This is a particularly sensitive time for Afghanistan, which has not had a peaceful transition of power in the fifty years since Zahir Shah was overthrown in a coup. More than 7 million ballots were cast in the first round of the presidential election back in April, and more than 8 million ballots were recorded in the run-off election last month. All agree that there was an impressive turn-out in a country where the Taliban has repeatedly threatened violence against those who vote. ...
Click here to read the rest of Sen. Levin's statement on his Web site.