Britain welcomes Afghanistan vote deal

13th July 2014, Comments 0 comments

British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Saturday praised a deal made by Afghanistan's two presidential rivals to audit all votes cast in its disputed election and pledged Britain's support for the process.

The agreement between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah came at the end of two days of frantic negotiations brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Hague congratulated the two candidates "for putting the interests of the Afghan people first."

"I hope the audit of all the votes will enable Afghans to have confidence in the electoral process and its outcome," he said.

"The UK will support efforts to ensure the audit is robust and meets international standards."

The deadlock over the run-off vote to choose a successor to outgoing President Hamid Karzai plunged Afghanistan into political crisis.

Preliminary results of the second-round vote put Ghani in the lead, but Abdullah -- who already once lost a presidential bid -- declared himself the true winner, saying massive fraud robbed him of victory.

But almost 48 hours after he flew into the Afghan capital on a hastily-arranged mediation trip, Kerry announced the breakthrough.

Hague praised the commitment made by both candidates that they would lead a government of national unity.

"We look forward to welcoming the Afghan government and international community to the NATO Summit in Wales and the London Conference on Afghanistan later this year," he added.


© 2014 AFP

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