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US seeks constitutional settlement to Balkh crisis

US seeks constitutional settlement to Balkh crisis

Jan 18, 2018 - 19:23

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): US Ambassador to Afghanistaninfo-icon John Bass has demanded resolution to the ongoing dispute between the Presidential Palace and Atta Mohammad Noor in line with the Constitution.

Addressing a press conference here, Ambassador Bass said the US wanted the ongoing political crisis to be resolved by the Afghans constitutionally.

“This problem should be resolved through the principle that nobody is above the law and in the framework of constitution,” he said.

The US envoy said: “The US formally recognized Afghanistan’s national integrity which is interpreted through the country’s constitution and I stress that the change of governors is included in the presidential powers.”

He added the current crisis should be resolved in a way in which Afghanistan national interest remained secured and the open environmentinfo-icon for political rivalry remained stable.

The US envoy clarified that the Balkh crisis was an internal political issue of Afghanistan and urged negotiations to end the deadlock.

Referring to the upcoming elections, Bass said the US considered future polls as vital and added that Washington supported free, fair and peaceful elections in Afghanistan.

Earlier, US Vice-President Mike Pence called President Ashraf Ghani and supported his efforts to engage with Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noor and conduct a negotiated transition of leadership.

“Vice-President Pence and President Ghani discussed political leadership in Balkh. The VP emphasised his support for the Afghan government to engage with Noor and conduct a peacefully negotiated transition of leadership,” the White House.

During the call, the two leaders also discussed the security situation in Afghanistan and the impact of President Trump's South Asia strategy, the White House said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani reportedly pulled out of a high-level UN meeting about Afghanistan to participate in the ongoing talks between Ghani and Noor sides.

Noor has refused to leave the post he has held since 2004, rejecting a claim by Ghani's office that he had resigned.



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