John Kerry lands in Kabul for talks with struggling unity government

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kabul on an unannounced visit Saturday to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the country's chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah.

The two rivals agreed to a US-brokered power-sharing deal in September 2014 after a disputed presidential election led to months of political uncertainty.

Kerry is to discuss issues regarding "the full implementation" of the deal, Abdullah's spokesman Javid Faisal said, including changing Abdullah's position to prime minister after the formation of a national assembly, scheduled to take place in September.

The political deal brokered by Kerry put an end to the crisis in 2014, but the unity government formed as a result has been anything but united.

Due to the political stalemate, deteriorating security situation, and increasing unemployment following the end of NATO's combat mission in 2014, the Afghan public's view towards the unity government has become increasingly dim.

After the government was formed, Ghani and Abdullah took six months to fill out cabinet positions.

Interior Minister Taj Mohammad Jahid, whose brief includes the country's deteriorating security situation, was approved by parliament on Saturday. The former minister, Nur-ul Haq Ulumi, resigned citing "internal differences" within the government. 

Two other key positions, the minister of defence and the head of the country's intelligence wing - the National Directorate of Security - are still being run by acting heads. 

Kerry was in Baghdad, Iraq on Friday for talks with senior officials on the progress of the US-led war against Islamic State.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25
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