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Kerry intervenes to end Ghani-Abdullah dispute


WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry has personally intervened to end a bitter discord between Afghanistan’s ruling partners, President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, a US official said.

“The Secretary spoke with both President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah (on Thursday) about the importance of continuing to move forward with the political and economic reforms that they’re trying to enact,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

“All those reforms — and we understand that they are hard to come by — will be key to trying to get to that kind of future in Afghanistan,” he added.

Mr Kerry played a key role in putting together the current national unity government in Kabul after the 2014 elections.

He also helped create a new position of the chief executive to accommodate Mr Abdullah, a former foreign minister and Mr Ghani’s main rival in the elections.

But last week, President Ghani and Mr Abdullah got locked in a political confrontation that threatens to undo this arrangement. In recent statements, each leader blamed the other for the failure to improve governance and restore peace to the war-torn country. Mr Abdullah also hinted that he was finding it difficult to continue working with his partner.

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