Millions headed to the polls over the weekend to cast their vote, marking the end of Hamid Karzai's 13-year tenure as president.
"On behalf of the American people," Obama said Saturday, "I congratulate the millions of Afghans who enthusiastically participated in today's historic elections, which promise to usher in the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history and which represent another important milestone in Afghans taking full responsibility for their country as the United States and our partners draw down our forces."
Despite threats of violence by the Taliban, Kerry remarked that the voter turnout was illustrative of Afghanistan's "courage and commitment" to democracy. "The fierce determination of the millions of voters undeterred by violence and threats of violence has been remarkable."
Kerry acknowledged that while the voting is now complete, "we need to give the Afghan electoral bodies the time they need to do their work in processing the outcome of these elections."
"... we look forward to continuing our partnership with the new government chosen by the Afghan people on the basis of mutual respect and mutual accountability," the president added.
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