TIME

Kerry: Afghan Candidates Agree to Audit Results

Afghanistan's presidential candidate Abdullah speaks to U.S. Secretary of State Kerry at the start of a meeting at the U.S. embassy in Kabul
Afghanistan's presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah speaks to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the start of a meeting at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, July 11, 2014. Jim Bourg—Reuters

(KABUL, Afghanistan) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says both of Afghanistan’s presidential candidates are committed to abiding by the results of the “largest, most comprehensive audit” of the election runoff ballots possible.

Kerry stood with the two candidates who are disputing the results of Afghanistan’s presidential election on Saturday night. He announced that Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (ahsh-RAHF’ gah-NEE’ ah-mahd-ZEYE’) and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah have agreed to abide by a 100 percent, internationally supervised audit of all ballots in the presidential election in Kabul.

Both candidates have agreed to a national unity government.

The prolonged uncertainty about the outcome of the election has jeopardized a central plank of President Barack Obama’s strategy to leave behind a stable state after the withdrawal of most U.S. troops at year’s end.

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