Good afternoon. I’m grateful to be standing here with my colleagues from Kabul and here in Kandahar and particularly with respect to Governor Wesa and my good friend District Governor Nazak it’s a real pleasure to be standing with you today.
I think what I would like to get across today is that this is a logical turning point in Canadian operations in Afghanistan as a result of a number of years of work.
The sacrifices and hard work of thousands of Canadian soldiers alongside their Afghan brothers working here in Kandahar since 2002 have brought us to the point now where the mission can transition to where we can focus more effort on reconstruction development and governance.
And this would not be possible were it not for the close collaboration between the government of Afghanistan at the national and provincial level, but for me most importantly, working alongside of my civilian colleagues that allow us to take a security posture that includes local security and then builds that in with reconstruction and development efforts and governance work such that the lives of ordinary Afghans improve and improve quickly.
So we started off with some modest success, with plenty of success in the future. And I personally measure success by the satisfaction of the Afghan people whom we are serving here. And I believe that through them and over time and lots of hard work the insurgency will gradually become less and less relevant to this part of the country and that in itself is a success.