Your Excellency, President Karzai, General McColl, General Zebra, Ministers, Ambassadors, Generals, guests and participants to this ceremony.
Income to you in three capacities, one, as the representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. Second I think I will be expressing the sentiments of all the diplomatic community in Kabul, and in the third place, I will be speaking to you as a very freshly naturalized Afghan. In all these three capacities I would like to express my very, very deep appreciation for what ISAF has achieved in these very short six months.
General McColl said it all, the ISAF under his inspired and inspiring leadership has really performed better than anybody had any right to expect from them. The most important thing that ISAF has done, in my opinion, is the manner in which it has worked with the Afghan authorities.
I think that cooperation between the security sector in the Government of Afghanistan and ISAF has culminated in the extraordinary work they have done to provide security for the Loyal Jirga during the last ten days.
Those going to the Polytechnic, have seen the tip of the iceberg of this work. To provide that security is much more than we have been able to see.
Once again, we would like to express our appreciation to ISAF and to all their partners during this effort at the Loyal Jirga. [We saw] on the ground in the Polytechnic, the First Battalion, which was trained bias. The performance of those young people who have been in the Army, in the National Army of Afghanistan for just three months, is an indication of how the National Army is going to be and how security is going tube assured for the people of Afghanistan, all over Afghanistan, by the National Army and the National Police that are now in the making.
Both General McColl and General Zebra have spoken about security that is markedly much better in Kabul that in was a few months ago. Nevertheless, there is no room for complacency as the rockets which were fired the night before last have come to remind us.
General McColl said that he did better than his predecessors, who came to Afghanistan. That wasn’t very difficult General, you’ve done much better than your predecessors and you have performed in a manner that I considers exemplary for anybody involved in any form of peacekeeping away from home.
I would like to tell you again, how happy we were to work very closely with you, and I think also in an exemplary manner, during these last few months. Congratulations to General Zulu, on his assuming this very very important responsibility, I am confident that he will live up to the high standards established by his predecessor. I would like to assure him of the same cooperation that we have extended to General McColl and we are looking forward to working with him as closely as we did with General McColl.
Congratulations again General and farewell to you General McColl.
Thank you very much all for you.