The US Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday called President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to discuss key issues of mutual interest as well as the soaring tensions between the government and the chief executive of Jamiat-e-Islami Ata Mohammad Noor.

The White House in a statement said the Vice President highlighted Kabul’s continued engagement and critical progress on necessary reforms, political inclusion, and preparations for forthcoming elections.

The statement further added that Vice President Pence and President Ghani discussed the political leadership in the Balkh province. The Vice President emphasized his support for the Afghan government to engage with Balkh Governor Atta and conduct a peacefully negotiated transition of leadership.

This comes as the Afghan government announced nearly a month ago that the resignation of Ata Mohammad Noor from the Balkh government has been approved by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

Noor admitted that he submitted his resignation but he had several demands before stepping down and none of them has been met by the government while his resignation has been approved.

The ex-governor of Balkh had earlier also warned the government that a widespread movement will be launched if the government did not retract its decision regarding the Balkh government leadership.

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