September 30, 2014
RELEASE # 20140938
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement by Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, Commander, U.S. Central Command:
"I want to congratulate the people of Afghanistan on the historic, peaceful transfer of power that occurred yesterday with the inauguration of President Ashraf Ghani. He and Mr. Abdullah, the new chief executive, are to be commended for their cooperation and shared demonstrated commitment to their country and their fellow citizens.
Indeed, there is still difficult work to be done, and particularly with respect to the formation of the national unity government. However, I am hopeful that the leadership will do the right things going forward. And, certainly today's signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement between the governments of the United States and Afghanistan signaled progress. This pact paves the way for further cooperation and close collaboration between our countries.
Our partnership is an important one, and as we prepare to transition to a traditional security cooperation mission in the coming years, we remain committed to providing the necessary support to our Afghan partners and, in particular, to their national security forces. They have come a long way and are doing an outstanding job taking the fight to the enemy and defending their sovereignty. I am confident that all Afghans will continue to do what is required to seize this historic opportunity and to keep their country safe."