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U.S. remains impartial in Afghan presidential election: Clinton

2009-08-18 08:19 BJT

Special Report: Afghan presidential election |

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The United States is proud to support the Afghan people to conduct their presidential election, and will remain impartial in the election, said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media during a visit to the Foreign Minister's Residence in Abuja August 12, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media during
a visit to the Foreign Minister's Residence in Abuja August 12, 2009.
(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

"The Afghan people should be commended for their courage in conducting this election despite the stresses of wartime, and we and the international community are proud to support them," said the secretary in a statement.

Forty-one candidates, including the incumbent Hamid Karzai, will race for the presidential election, which is scheduled to be held on Thursday.

Among the 41 candidates, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and former financial minister Ashraf Ghani are main rivals of President Karzai, who won the 2004 presidential election with 55 percent of the vote.

"We do not support or oppose any particular candidate," said Clinton, adding that "like the Afghan people we want to see credible, secure and inclusive elections that all will judge legitimate."