Brussels: NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has hailed the elections in Afghanistan as an "historic moment", praising the "enthusiasm" of voters and the "outstanding job" by Afghan security forces.
"I congratulate the millions of Afghan men and women from across the country who have cast their votes in presidential and provincial council elections with such an impressive turnout and enthusiasm," Rasmussen yesterday said in a statement, calling the vote "a historic moment for Afghanistan".
This year the last of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force`s troops will pull out of Afghanistan, leaving local forces to battle the resilient Taliban insurgency.
The NATO chief noted that the Afghan security forces did "an outstanding job in securing the elections", for the first time on their own with only minimal logistical help from ISAF.
"This has truly been an election led by Afghans, secured by Afghans, for the future of Afghans," he said.
The Afghan elections were largely peaceful with a preliminary estimated turnout of some seven million voters, despite Taliban threats to disrupt the poll to choose President Hamid Karzai`s successor.