Kerry visits Afghanistan

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, August 8, 2014
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Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Kabul Thursday in a surprise visit to meet with the country’s two presidential candidates to help accelerate the ballot auditing process and build upon the political framework for Afghanistan’s future government.

A Senior State Department Official told reporters, “We really want to see it (the audit) moving faster, which it’s just getting on the cusp of being able to do right now in terms of going through the – all 23,000 of the ballot boxes, which are all now in Kabul.” Kerry will encourage candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani, “to continue their dialogue on the details of the political framework that they agreed to with the Secretary on his last visit, and to try to make public their common understandings of it, the common principles derived from it.” The US described the political framework of the planned “unity government” as a “one-page document” with a set of principles that is intended to frame a discussion between the two candidates. “So we are looking to the candidates to make progress on that,” said the official.

Kerry would like to see the winner inaugurated before the upcoming NATO summit in Wales, September 4. This includes a chief executive officer that is to be picked by the “loser” and then confirmed by the president. “It could be the person that doesn’t win himself or his designee,” affirmed the official.

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