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    Posted August 14, 2014 by

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    Opening Remarks by Ambassador James Cunningham At a Press Conference


    August 11, 2014 Ambassador Cunningham: I thought I’d start by discussing a bit  the recent visit of Secretary Kerry and the progress that’s being made in implementing the frameworks that were agreed on July  12th.  Secretary Kerry came back to Kabul last Thursday to meet again  with Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani, their teams, with President  Karzai, and with the representative of the UN Secretary General  Jan Kubis, to review the progress that had been made in  implementing the agreements and to encourage the candidates to  continue their efforts to complete both the audit and a political agreement between them. I think it’s accurate to say that both Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani in conversations that we had recognized the historic  responsibility they have to ensure the establishment of a strong  and legitimate government which represents all Afghans, whoever  they voted for. You have seen the statement that the two candidates issued at the end of their talks, our talks with them. I think it speaks for  itself. They committed themselves to work through the many  issues before them, to work to speed up the audit, and to begin a structured conversation between their two camps and themselves on how to create the national unity government they have agreed to  form. We also discussed the audit that’s going on. They have agreed to abide by the results. That audit is being conducted under UN  supervision in accordance with the best international standards. They also agreed that the goal, what Afghans want and what your  international partners want, is to try to inaugurate a new  president of Afghanistan by the end of August.  There is now a pretty clear path ahead, a pretty clear idea of  what needs to be done, and a lot of work and issues that still  need to be worked through. The task for Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani is to come to a durable  agreement in the coming weeks that will establish the next 2 government and its program, whichever one of them becomes  president. The successful outcome of the audit and the creation of a unity  government as a result of the political discussion are essential  for the security and development of Afghanistan, and for the  strength of Afghanistan’s relationship with its international  partners. We encourage them to continue to develop the political dialogue that has actually begun with the preparation of their  joint statement. To do that it will be necessary to make the  transition from political competition to cooperation and to gain  the broad support that will be necessary to ensure that the next  government of Afghanistan is ready to address the serious  problems which face the country. It’s the goal of the candidates, and a goal that we completely  support, to have the new president represent Afghanistan at the  NATO summit in early September. This will be a very important  opportunity for the new president to reaffirm Afghanistan’s  engagement under a new government with many of its international  partners and to begin building the path forward that all of us  want to see. It’s our hope that all Afghans involved in the  political process will realize how important this is f

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