Ghani, Abdullah reach deal to end political stalemate in Afghanistan

Kabul, May 17 (efe-epa).- Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the second most voted in September’s elections, on Sunday reached an agreement to end months of stalemate over the outcome of the vote.

“The Political Agreement between President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah has just been signed. Dr. Abdullah will lead the National Reconciliation High Council and members of his team will be included in the cabinet,” the spokesperson for the Afghan president Sediq Sediqqi tweeted.

The details of the deal that put an end of a months-long political turmoil are to be revealed later on, the spokesperson said.

The deal was struck after Ghani suggested Abdullah should lead peace negotiations with the Taliban aimed at ending a two-decade war.

Abdullah had announced a parallel government after rejecting the results of the controversial presidential elections that were marred by fraud allegations.

The political crisis sparked fears that the peace process could fail after a historic deal was reached on 29 February between the United States and the Taliban that guaranteed the departure of foreign troops from the country within 14 months.

The beginning of the talks between the government and the insurgents is subject to the release of 5,000 of Taliban’s members prisoned and 1,000 of the Afghan forces held in the insurgents’ prisons, according to the Doha deal.

The controversial prisoners’ exchange got underway in early April, but disagreements between both parties cast a shadow over the process.

On 11 May, the government called on the Taliban to reveal the whereabouts of 610 security forces that are not included in the prisoners’ lists provided by the insurgents.

The government warned that it would only release more prisoners if the Taliban showed commitment to the process.

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