The chief United Nations envoy for Afghanistan,
attending the ceremony to hand over command of the international security
force from Turkey to Germany and the Netherlands, said today that the Afghan
people appreciated the contributions of the international community to
securing their country.
"I think on days like this what one really feels is a sense of hope," Lakhdar Brahimi, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Afghanistan, said at the handover ceremony in Kabul, referring to the enormous difficulties facing that country.
Despite the challenges towards peace and stability, Mr. Brahimi added, "It is do-able because the people of Afghanistan are tired of war, they are tired of conflict, they are tired of this destruction that has descended on them for so many years. They would like to enjoy a little bit of peace, a little bit of stability and they are counting on the international community to help them do that."
In addition to the outgoing and incoming Commanders of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the Defence Ministers of Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands were also present at the ceremony, presided over by President Hamid Karzai.