US hopeful about unity govt future
NEW YORK (Pajhwok): President-elect Ashraf Ghani Ahmedzai and CEO Dr Abdullah Abdullah appear to be committed to forgetting campaign differences and working together for the people’s prosperity, a top official of the Obama administration said on Thursday.
“Both parties appear to be completely committed to trying to overcome the tensions of the electoral process from the last year and really to working together to ensure that this government delivers for the Afghan people,” Special US Representative Daniel Feldman said.
He told foreign correspondents in New York: “So going into it with that degree of good faith from both parties, and a real effort to work through the many issues that will come up is what’s most important, and we certainly hope it will last throughout the course of the administration.”
The unity government agreement was aimed at stability, he said, explaining the deal proposed calling a loya jirga within two years and constitutional changes to Afghanistan’s political framework. They would see what emerged from that, he added.
Feldman disagreed with the notion such an agreement did not represent the will of the people. “With regard to the agreement, I would strongly disagree it doesn’t honour the vote of those Afghans that were courageous enough to turn out and cast their ballots not once, but twice in this process.”
He referred to Abdullah’s statement that the government represented the votes cast. The diplomat insisted both men were committed to undertaking fundamental reforms, including on economic, anticorruption and electoral reform issues.
“The fact that they can do this together in a manner that provides most stability for Afghanistan is the way that I think truly honors the votes that were cast,” the US official said.
Feldman said there was no change in President Barack Obama’s decision on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, but there would be a residual force to continue training and assisting Afghan forces.
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