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NATO Chief Says Afghan Election Shows 'Clear Rejection' Of Taliban

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says Afghanistan’s presidential election last month demonstrated a clear rejection of extremism by the Afghan people and shows that national security forces are capable of ensuring public order.

"This was a great success for the Afghan authorities, a clear rejection of the Taliban, and a significant victory for the Afghan people," Rasmussen said on June 4.

He made the comments before a meeting of NATO defense ministers and officials from nonmember states contributing to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

Rasmussen said Afghan security forces “deserve great credit for their effectiveness and professionalism" during last month’s first-round election. A second round will be held June 14.

He added that NATO is on track to complete its combat mission by the end of the year, while planning a new mission "to train, advise, and assist the Afghan forces after 2014."
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