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Afghan Government Responds to the Resignation of U.S. Secretary of Defense

Upon the resignation of U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld following US midterm elections, the Government of Afghanistan expressed its gratitude for Secretary Rumsfeld’s longstanding contributions to the mission in Afghanistan.

"The resignation of Mr. Rumsfeld is their decision and we respect their decision," President Karzai told Radio Free Afghanistan. "However, Mr. Rumsfeld is a friend of Afghanistan, a good ally and supporter in the war against terrorism. I have great respect for him. He is a very knowledgeable man, a very smart person, and a very resolute person. And I am proud to have his friendship."

President Karzai’s Chief of Staff Jawed Ludin expanded on the President’s comments, telling the Associated Press, “We in Afghanistan are very pleased and very grateful for Secretary Rumsfeld's support for Afghanistan."

Commenting on the US elections, Mr. Ludin cited the widespread bi-partisan support for winning the peace in Afghanistan. "We are confident that the commitment of the United States and its people will be the same," he said.

Col. Tom Collins, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, affirmed this sentiment, stating that Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation would not influence the military's mission.

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