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Kerry pushes for a deal in second day of talks on Afghan vote crisis

Published on Jul 12, 2014 3:28 PM
 
US Secretary of State John Kerry is greeted by Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai (left) as he arrives for a dinner at the presidential palace in Kabul on July 11, 2014. US Secretary of State John Kerry scrambled to produce a deal by the end of Saturday, July 12, 2014, to end Afghanistan's election crisis, meeting for the second day with the country's two presidential candidates and incumbent President Hamid Karzai. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KABUL (REUTERS) - US Secretary of State John Kerry scrambled to produce a deal by the end of Saturday to end Afghanistan's election crisis, meeting for the second day with the country's two presidential candidates and incumbent President Hamid Karzai.

The deadlock over the June 14 election run-off between the leading contenders, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, has raised concerns in Washington about a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan just as US troops are withdrawing.

Kerry and his aides met throughout the night, following talks on Friday with both Abdullah and Ghani, as well as with Karzai and UN special envoy to Afghanistan Jan Kubis. He met again with Abdullah and Ghani at the US compound on Saturday and will meet Karzai at the presidential palace later.

A news conference is scheduled for Saturday afternoon before Kerry flies to Vienna for talks between world powers and Iran on Tehran's nuclear program.

 
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