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UK concern over parallel administration in Afghanistan

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KABUL: The United Kingdom (UK) has expressed its concern over establishment of a parallel administration in Afghanistan, calling on all concerned to come together and resolve differences constructively.

British Embassy in Kabul in a statement on Tuesday has welcomed Ashraf Ghani’s inauguration as President. “We welcome the opportunity to work with him and his government in the interests of all the people of Afghanistan and to support efforts to bring an end to the long-running conflict in Afghanistan,” the stamen added. 

Afghanistan’s political leaders face critical choices, the statement said, adding; “The major attacks in Kabul, at the Mazari commemoration on 6th March when so many innocent people were killed and injured, and the blasts at the inauguration, are terrible reminders of the need to find the path to peace. We support President Ghani’s commitment to forming an inclusive government which puts unity and peace first.”

“We are concerned by the establishment of a parallel administration and call on all concerned to come together and resolve differences constructively,” the statement added.

It furthered: “The UK remains committed to supporting a more stable and prosperous Afghanistan. We will continue to push for an inclusive political settlement, the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms and the fight against terrorism. This is the path that offers the best chance for a brighter future – what the people of Afghanistan deserve,” the statement added.

Both, President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah took oath of the office each in separate ceremonies. His main rival Abdullah had sworn himself as president, setting the foundation of his parallel government.

This signaled that diplomatic attempts by the U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad the day earlier to mediate between the political rivals and broker a deal had foundered. The dilemma risks spilling into the impending peace talks with the Taliban – an inevitable fallout of a rancorous wrangling that could culminate in a disaster Afghans cannot afford.

Last week’s U.S.-Taliban peace agreement – hammered out after 18 months of marathon negotiations – offered an olive branch to the people and government of Afghanistan towards an end to the endless war. Nevertheless, two presidents would mean two peace forces, which could potentially complicate and even stymie the reconciliation process.

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