(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan Thursday as elections there for a new president have dragged on for months.
With a winner still not certified, Kerry will meet with the presidential candidates — Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani — during his trip, as well as Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
“The Secretary will follow-up on his July visit to Kabul and his subsequent phone calls to the candidates, encouraging both to help accelerate the audit process which they are both participating in, and make progress on the details of the political framework that they agreed to during the Secretary’s last visit,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
Kerry “will encourage both candidates to work together in the spirit of collegiality and statesmanship, to ensure national unity and the means to build on the progress the Afghan people have achieved,” Psaki continued.
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Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Evan Perez and Pamela Brown, CNN