Statement Of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan

It has been just a bit over 24 hours since we have been set free. It is wonderful feeling that we have been sharing with our families, friends and colleagues here in Kabul.

It’s also a feeling we want to share with the Afghan people. Since we were released we have learned of the many statements of support and expressions of solidarity by Afghan personalities and ordinary men and women, some of whom even offered to take our place as hostages.

Wearer humbled and very, very grateful for this.

During our many months of work here in Afghanistan we have learned to love Afghanistan, its people, its culture and traditions. The awful experience we went through does not change our feelings for the Afghan people and the solidarity they have shown during the 27 days of our captivity just strengthens our commitment to support Afghanistan in its transition to peace and democracy.

Since yesterday, we have also learned about the many people and institutions that worked together to secure our release. We thank them all. We expressed our gratitude in person earlier today when we met with President Karzai and the heads of Afghan security agencies as well as their international partners.

Finally, we have a word to our families, friends and colleagues. The hope of getting back together with them kept us going. We thank them for their love, their prayers and their friendship. We are looking forward to joining our families and to returning to our work.