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Washington ‘mediates’ between Ghani, Abdullah

AT News

KABUL: Washington is intervening between the feuding Afghan leaders to broker a political settlement and end a bickering that is risking falling into nascent peace talks.

A close aide to Dr. Abdullah is saying that the United States has been trying to mediate between Ghani and Abdullah. This is as both the leaders held their separate presidential inaugurations 11 days ago.

Fazl Ahmad Manawi has said that the U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad will return to Kabul from Qatar to resume his mediation attempts between the feuding leaders.

“Even though after inauguration ceremonies, the leaders did not directly speak to each other, attempts began by Khalilzad for them to iron out their differences. But no specific plans has been propounded so far. Khalilzad is in Qatar and will return to Kabul in few days and resume his negotiations,” said Manawi.

Earlier, NATO envoy offered to mediate between the leaders. Nicholas Kay had said that the two leaders were seeking a solution to the crisis.

Ghani and Abdullah had locked horns on their standpoint vis-à-vis the outcome of the 2019 presidential vote which gave lead to Ghani and drew Abdullah’s ire and opposition. He later rejected the results and proclaimed himself the president. He even held his inauguration as the president exactly when Ghani was being sworn in in the presidential palace.

Ever since former president Hamid Karzai and Jihadi leader Abdulrab Rasoul Sayyaf have met with the squabbling leaders to convince them to stop being intransigent, but all attempts have foundered to end the election turmoil which has given birth to two presidents. This political acrimony is ruining the prospects of peace talks with the Taliban.

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