U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, along with Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ) , and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) praised the Senate's passage of a resolution on the upcoming elections in Afghanistan:
"The Senate sent a clear message to the Government of Afghanistan, by agreeing to S.Res.151," said Senator Casey. "The success of the security transition depends in large part on political stability and whether a majority of the Afghan people see their next government as legitimate and acceptable. A transparent, credible and inclusive election process must be one of our top priorities in Afghanistan. The American people and the Senate will be watching this election process closely as we determine future investments in this important relationship. Further, the resolution highlights the plight of Afghan women in the electoral process -- for these elections to be truly credible, women must be at the table at every step along the way."
"Many in Congress are concerned that the opportunity to establish a successful election framework for Afghanistan's April elections is closing," said Chairman Menendez. "President Karzai must demonstrate political leadership and Afghan political stakeholders must come together and agree to fair rules governing the elections. There is little time left to get a credible pre-election process underway which is fundamental in guaranteeing that the process and outcome is accepted by all parties."
"Next year's elections are an important chance for the people of Afghanistan to have their voices heard, and it crucial that the United States and our allies support our Afghan partners in ensuring that the elections are as free and fair as possible and enhance the legitimacy of Afghan governance," said Senator McCain. "It is unrealistic to expect, however, that these elections and governance in Afghanistan more broadly will improve significantly without continued improvements in security. That is why it is essential for the U.S. to commit to the properly-resourced follow-on force that our senior military leaders have called for in Afghanistan after 2014, and that is why I continue to urge President Obama to make that commitment clear as soon as possible."