The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reacted to escalating political tensions in Afghanistan as both incumbent president Ashraf Ghani and the Chief Executive of the National Unity Government held oath ceremonies.

“The U.S. strongly supports a unified and sovereign #Afghanistan and opposes any effort to establish a parallel government or any use of force to resolve political differences,” Pompeo said in a Twitter post.

He also added that “Prioritizing an inclusive government is paramount for peace.”

Both Abdullah and Ghani held oath taking ceremonies in capital Kabul on Monday, further fueling political tensions amid ongoing efforts to find a negotiated political settlement to ongoing violence in the country.

This comes as the U.S. and Taliban representatives recently signed a peace deal in Qatari capital of Doha after observing a 7-day reduction in violence with an aim to pave the way for intra-Afghan talks.

The Taliban group had earlier said the disagreements between the Afghan leaders and the swearing-in ceremonies threatens the peace process.

“We don’t think they will make it to getting ready for the intra-Afghan talks on March 10, because of … the disagreement between the politicians that is even leading to two swearing-in ceremonies,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid was quoted as saying by The News.

He also added “Instead of swearing in, we want them to focus on intra-Afghan talks. We call upon them to leave the internal disagreements, stop the swearing in, and work for peace.”

The Independent Election Commission announced incumbent Ashraf Ghani as the winner of the controversial presidential elections last month.

However, Ghani’s rival Abdullah Abdullah said he had won the presidential race insisting that he would form a parallel government.

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  • Khaama Press

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