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Arxiv

Presidential Rift, Coronavirus Eclipse Afghan Peace Deal

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - A lingering dispute over Afghanistan’s presidential election and an outbreak of coronavirus in the country appear to have complicated further an already troubled effort the United States is making to help find a negotiated end to nearly 19 years of war.

Afghan officials found five new cases of coronavirus Sunday, increasing the national tally of confirmed cases to at least 16.  There are fears the number is likely to grow in the wake of increased number of Afghan pilgrims and refugees returning from neighboring Iran, one of the worst-hit by the global pandemic.

After having negotiated and signed a landmark peace-building deal with the Taliban in Qatar two weeks ago, U.S. chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad flew to Kabul to help in arranging an inclusive Afghan team to engage in negotiations with the insurgent group to move the process forward.

Instead, Khalilzad has since been mostly busy mediating the political dispute between incumbent Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah, as both claim to have won the September 28th presidential election and held competing inaugurations last Monday.  The U.S. envoy has repeatedly met with both the presidential claimants but there appears to be no progress toward ending the political impasse. 

NATO senior civilian representative to the country Nick Kay in a video message released via Twitter on Saturday called on Afghan leaders to urgently find a compromise and solve their political differences.

Aliqismet BADALOV,
“Khalq qazeti”

16 2020 14:35 -

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