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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 21 September 2014 - Statement attributable to the Secretary-General welcoming the conclusion of presidential elections and agreement to form Government of National Unity in Afghanistan

I welcome the conclusion of the presidential election process in Afghanistan.

The agreement between the candidates to form a government of national unity and the Independent Election Commission's announcement of the president-elect paves the way for a stable and more prosperous future for the country.

I congratulate Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the President-elect of Afghanistan.

The new government will face serious challenges, and I urge the President-elect, the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, and all political actors in Afghanistan to quickly form the government of national unity.

The audit has demonstrated that millions of Afghan men and women cast valid votes in the 14 June run-off. I emphasize that international support for the audit was provided to enhance the credibility of the electoral process at the request of the candidates. The audit was unprecedented in its scale, depth and scrutiny, as well as conforming to international best practice and Afghan law.

I reiterate the support for Afghanistan expressed by the international community during the Security Council debate on 18 September. The United Nations remains committed to working closely with the new government of Afghanistan. I congratulate the two parties and their leaders, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, as well as the Afghan people and reiterate the support of the United Nations.

Statements on 21 September 2014