EU, NATO welcome holding of polls in Afghanistan in August

By EuAsiaNews,

Brussels : Both the European Union and NATO are welcoming the announcement by the Independent Election Commission in Afghanistan reaffirming the 20 August as the date of Afghanistan’s 2009 presidential and provincial council elections.

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“NATO and Secretary General (Jaap de Hoop Scheffer) welcome this decision because this date will provide from purely a technical point of view the time for the Alliance to prepare properly to bring in the forces necessary and the capabilities necessary to provide the maximum support for the electoral process in particular the maximum possible security,” NATO spokesman James Appathurai told his weekly news conference in Brussels Wednesday.

On his part, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the August date will provide the time needed to make proper preparations that ensure the legitimacy of this process.

“I would like to express the hope that all the political actors in Afghanistan will adhere to the principles of the transparency and integrity of the electoral process in order to ensure its strength and credibility,” said Solana in a statement.

The EU stands ready to assist the process in every possible way, he added.