US Department of State Calls Up NUG Leaders to Work Together; Defusing Tensions

(Last Updated On: August 27, 2016)

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The U.S Department of State has urged the two leaders of National Unity Government (NUG) to work together and save the Unity Government formed two years ago.

The United StatesDepartment of State made the remarks as President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullahhave engaged in political confrontation, raising questions about the survival of the National Unity Government.

US officials said that the donor countries attending the Brussels summit are committed to building a stronger Afghanistan.

“I can just say that everyone is obviously committed to – who will attend that conference is committed to a successful, prosperous future for Afghanistan,” said Mark Toner, deputy spokesman of state department.

The United States reaffirmed its supportfor the National Unity Government and stresses on further efforts to strengthen and equip Afghan security forces.

“In terms of the political situation, we strongly support and continue to support the democratically elected Government of Afghanistan. We understand that there’s challenges, work to be done, but we’ve also seen some progress. We’re going to encourage the government and its leadership to work through current tensions and to continue to work for the good of the country,” Toner said.

“We’re aware this is fighting season; there’s been some challenges. We’ve seen that certainly in Helmand province over the past – or recent weeks, where fighting has been quite intense. And our efforts, in terms of security, remain focused on working with Afghan forces, making sure that they are capable, equipped, and able to confront and defeat Taliban on the battlefield,” added Mark Toner.

Simmering tensions between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah were publicly exposed for the first time two weeks ago, when the Chief Executive criticized the president and accused him of not honoring provisions of the political agreement they signed in September 2014, which paved the way for installing the unity government.

President Ghani called the remarks counterproductive and “Not in line with the spirit and principles that shape the foundation of governance.”

Abdullah responded by demanding “Total implementation of the agreement on unity government; we don’t want anything more or less than that because implementation of the agreement would lead to the survival and stability of the country,” he said.

The two Afghan leaders met for the first time on Wednesday since the political turmoil erupted and are scheduled to hold more talks in coming days to resolve their differences.

The political crisis between the leaders of the National Unity Government comes at a time when Taliban are gaining momentum in strategic parts of Afghanistan. 

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