US hopes frontrunners to accept runoff results
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): The US on Tuesday hoped the two frontrunners in the Afghan presidential elections would respect the electoral bodies’ decision on outcome of the looming second round of polls.
Outgoing US civilian representative in northern Afghanistan, Peter Kastner, told a press conference in Mazar-i-Sharif his observation was that security and civilian establishments in the north had been cooperating with each other in rebuilding the country.
He talked about the long-term partnership between the US and Afghanistan. He said they were saddened by flash floods that affected nearly 100,000 Afghans, but encouraged by the aid pouring in.
In reference to the first round of elections, Kastner said the US had no direct role in the process, which he said had been planned and executed by Afghans themselves.
But the US had been making efforts behind the scenes to ensure Afghanistan had credible elections, which were acceptable to all sides, the diplomat said.
He said the US efforts showed Washington eyed long-term cooperation with the Afghan people and their government.
On security transition, the envoy said Afghan forces had full capability of maintaining security on their own.
For instance, he said, the security situation in northern Afghanistan had not been on the path to deterioration over the past one year and the peaceful conduct of the elections was a good example to be cited in this regard.
“The anti-Afghan government forces lost on the battlefield during the elections and the Afghan forces emerged victorious.”
Kastner said the US Embassy in Kabul had meetings with the two leading candidates and their campaign teams, saying two conclusions could be drawn from those conversations --- a political solution or a runoff.
He said the two leading candidates were expected that they would respect whatever outcome the country’s electoral institutions announced from the second round runoff race.
Kastner, who has been serving as the US senior civilian representative in northern Afghanistan, said he would be retiring next week.
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