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US Hopes For Govt of National Unity In Kabul

Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah Abdullah smile next to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after a news conference in Kabul

Heartened by several meetings between presidential candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmedzai since the agreement on an audit of ballots, the US hoped the election results would lead to the creation of a national unity government.

“I’m heartened by the fact that Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani have met now – subsequently several times since the announcement with Secretary Kerry. Part of it is to continue to work out these political issues, as well as the technical issues,” Principal Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Daniel Feldman told foreign journalists.

Briefing reporters on the process of auditing of ballots which began in Kabul a day earlier, Feldman hoped that all Afghans, regardless of who they supported, would ultimately join together and support this process, continue to build a better future for their nation.

“The US, as we’ve long said, supports a sovereign, unified, and democratic Afghanistan, and our commitment to that future is absolutely clear,” he said adding that the US President, Barack Obama, and the Secretary of State, John Kerry, have said many times it’s not up to the US to determine who will lead Afghanistan nor should it be.”

Both the candidates, he said, have agreed to abide by the results they audit and that the winner of the election will serve as president, and will immediately form a government of national unity.

“There’s obviously still significant work to be done, and the job won’t be finished until Afghanistan’s leaders finalize the election and establish this national unity government, which really honors the will of the millions of Afghans who are determined to make their voices heard during the elections despite real security threats from the Taliban,” he said.

“But it’s clear that Afghans want a democracy that works for all of them and that both candidates ultimately benefit from a process that ensures exactly that. Both candidates recognized that there’s been too much progress in Afghanistan, particularly over the course of the last 13 years, to turn back that clock,” Feldman said.

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