5 November 2007
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11261
AFG/302

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL, CONCERNED AT RECENT FIGHTING IN AFGHANISTAN, UNDERLINES CRUCIAL


ROLE OF NATO, AFGHAN SECURITY FORCES IN DETERRING TERRORIST, EXTREMIST GROUPS


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


The Secretary-General has followed with concern the recent fighting in Afghanistan, in particular around Kandahar and in Farah Provinces, where formed groups of Taliban have attempted to take and hold certain districts.


The Secretary-General underlines the crucial role that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the Afghan security forces are playing to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become a host for terrorist and extremist groups.  He takes this opportunity to thank all those countries who have provided assistance to Afghanistan, and reiterates Security Council resolution 1776 (2007), which expressed its appreciation for “the leadership provided by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and for the contributions of many nations to ISAF and the OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) coalition, including its maritime interdiction component”.  He expresses particular gratitude to those countries whose citizens have lost their lives in the effort to bring security and stability to Afghanistan.


The Secretary-General notes that it is an unfortunate reality that such operations continue to be necessary in Afghanistan, but reaffirms that the hope for lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region, and for a world without terrorism, depends on their success.  He appeals to all Governments involved in Afghanistan to maintain their existing commitments in order to ensure the success of the joint effort to rebuild Afghanistan, so that it can offer hope and opportunity to its people, friendship to its neighbours and an example to the rest of the world.


* *** *


For information media • not an official record