Article published on the 2009-11-02 Latest update 2009-11-02 17:23 TU
Afghan President Hamid Karzai shakes hands with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday in Kabul
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed a decision to cancel Afghanistan's run-off election, and congratulated President Hamid Karzai on being handed a second term in office. The UN chief arrived this morning on a surprise visit to Kabul.
"I welcome today's decision by Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission to forego a run-off vote and to declare Hamid Karzai as the winner of the 2009 presidential elections," he said.
The UN chief earlier met the President and his rival Abdullah Abdullah, who pulled out of the contest on Sunday for fear of a repeat of the widespread fraud that discredited the first round.
"The United Nations and the international community will stand together and walk together with the next government and the people of Afghanistan."
The United States has vowed to support the next Afghan President. Before the electoral commission announced its decision, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington would stand behind the next president and the people of Afghanistan, “who seek and deserve a better future".
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