Afghan presidential rivals set to sign unity deal


by Emal Haidary| Agence France Presse

Afghanistan’s two presidential rivals are due to sign a power-sharing deal Sunday, officials said, ending a prolonged stand-off over disputed election results at a pivotal moment in the war-weary nation’s history.

The final vote count is also scheduled for release, after being delayed for last-minute talks to break a deadlock that has plunged Afghanistan into crisis as U.S.-led troops end their 13-year war against the Taliban.

After the June run-off election was engulfed in fraud allegations, the U.S. brokered a deal in which the two candidates agreed to abide by the outcome of an audit of all 8 million ballot papers and then form a national unity government.

About 41,000 NATO troops remain in Afghanistan, down from a peak of 150,000 in 2010, fighting alongside Afghan soldiers and police against the fierce Taliban insurgency.

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(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

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