The United States wants President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to delay his second-term inauguration amid looming election crisis following the controversial announcement of election results.
The U.S. officials fear that the election feud could jeopardize U.S.-led peace efforts, two sources privy of the development told Reuters.
Washington has not recognized the announcement by the Independent Election Commission which confirmed Ghani’s victory in 2019 presidential elections
Meanwhile, Washington has also not recognized the announcement by Abdullah Abdullah, the main opponent of Ghani who rejected the final election results as fraudulent and proclaimed himself as the winner.
Fearing that the election feud could further complicate the naming of a delegation to negotiate with Taliban during intra-Afghan talks, the U.S. envoy for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad wants Ghani to delay his planned inauguration.
This comes as the U.S. and Taliban agreed to a week-long reduction of violence with effect from Saturday, a move which may pave the way for the launch of intra-Afghan dialogue.
The White House and State Department have not commented in this regard so far.