Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Ranking Member on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, released the following statement regarding Afghanistan’s April 5th elections.

“This election marks yet another step forward in Afghanistan’s efforts to be responsible for its own future. Ultimately, it will be up to the Afghan people and their leaders to determine the country’s destiny.

“Though hard work remains, I have been impressed by the work of Afghanistan’s electoral institutions. If the pre-election preparations are matched in the post-election processes, I’m hopeful that the vote’s outcome will be one that is credible and acceptable to the Afghan people. This will be the ultimate test for Afghanistan.

“I am heartened by the courage of Afghans, and those wishing to represent them. The candidates, the poll workers, and all those who have braved countless acts of violence and intimidation, but still see the importance of making their voices heard are an inspiration.

“I look forward to working with the new government to move U.S.-Afghan relations past the acrimony of the Karzai era, to one where we can jointly build on the progress and gains made over the past 12 years.”