Home Page | Photos | Video | Forum | Most Popular | Special Reports | Biz China Weekly
Make Us Your Home Page

Interview: Abdullah to accept "transparent" election results but prepared for 2nd round

English.news.cn   2014-04-14 14:40:31

KABUL, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Afghan presidential hopeful Abdullah Abdullah has said that he would accept the result of a " transparent" election but at the same time is prepared for a second round of balloting if necessary.

"Any results out of relatively fair and transparent process will be acceptable to us, there is no doubt," Abdul told Xinhua during an exclusive interview at his residence on Saturday night.

He also said that he is ready for the second round if the election results would require it.

One of the three frontrunners in the presidential race, Abdullah, however cautioned any rigging of the election results. "One thing we don't want to happen is any engineering of the results, which hopefully won't take place," he stressed.

Abdullah, who lost to President Hamid Karzai in the 2009 elections, is in the lead in the partial results announced by the Election Commission on Sunday. He was followed by Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Zalmai Rasoul.

Abdullah, a former foreign minister, is confident that he will emerge as winner in the April 5 elections and would lead the conflict-ridden country for the next five years.

"We are in the lead that we will win based on the initial assessment of our own teams," Abdullah said.

Nevertheless, Abdullah would prefer that the independent Election Commission would formally announce the winner.

During the campaign, Abdullah did not hide his support for the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States which outgoing President Karzai refused to sign.

Under the BSA, the Americans would be allowed to keep a limited number of troops in Afghanistan after the total pullout of the U.S. -led NATO forces from the country late this year.

"We think the BSA is important for the future of our relations, security relations, with the United States, and the signing of agreement should be done sooner rather than later," Abdullah said.

Contrary to the stance of President Karzai wherein he put several preconditions before the BSA is signed, Abdullah merely said that "making peace is not something that will happen overnight."

"Making peace requires continued efforts, there are domestic factors that need to be addressed, there are regional factors that need to be addressed and international community also has a role to play,"Abdullah said.

Afghans through the traditional Loya Jirga or grand assembly attended by 2,500 delegates from across the country in last November endorsed BSA and called upon President Karzai to sign it before the end of 2013.

But Karzai imposed some preconditions before he signs the BSA, which included halting the search of Afghan houses by foreign troops, supporting meaningful peace talks with the Taliban, and not interfering in Afghan elections.

During the interview, Abdullah said that the incoming government will have an opportunity to strengthen the country's bilateral relations not just with the U.S. but also with other countries in the region and the world.

On peace talks with the Taliban, Abdullah said, "we will continue our genuine, sincere, serious efforts in opening the door for negotiations. It will be an opportunity for the Taliban as well to stop violence because their message of violence has been rejected by the people through their participation in the recent election."

Karzai, whose term expires on May 22, had initiated peace talks with the Taliban in 2007 but has failed to convince the militant group to stop fighting.

On Sino-Afghan relations, Abdullah said he would work for the expansion of relations with China, describing China as a good neighbor of Afghanistan and a global power.

"China has played constructive role in our reconstruction process and Chinese investments have been most welcomed in Afghanistan," Abdullah said, adding that the opportunity created as a result of the elections will further boost friendly relations between Afghanistan and China.

Describing terrorism as a common threat in the region, Abdullah said that both China and Afghanistan can explore further cooperation in dealing with terrorism.

"As for China's position in the region, China has friendly relations with Pakistan, thus China can exert influence in promoting a better environment among countries in the region including between Afghanistan and Pakistan," Abdullah said.

Abdullah emphasized the role that China could play in the development of Afghanistan. "China has the capacity to help us. Afghanistan is in need and China can help Afghanistan in different aspects of its development, including its security requirements," he said.



Editor: Fu Peng
Related News
Home >> In-depth            
Most Popular English Forum  
Top News  >>
Photos  >>
Video  >>
Top In-Depth News Latest News  
  Special Reports  >>