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Kerry says Afghan candidates agree to ballot audit

Secretary of State John Kerry shook hands with Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah at the start of a meeting at the US Embassy in Kabul Friday.

Jim Bourg/Associated Press

Secretary of State John Kerry shook hands with Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah at the start of a meeting at the US Embassy in Kabul Friday.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said 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 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.

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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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