Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Thursday Afghanistan for an unannounced visit to urge the two presidential candidates there to end a feud over June elections.
Kerry, who will press for a new government to be formed by early September, brokered a recount of Afghan election results last month. His visit comes days after a two-star American general was killed by an Afghan soldier in the most senior casualty suffered by the U.S. so far in the war.
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Kerry will meet both candidates, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, on Thursday night, then meet with the current Afghanistan president, Hamid Karzai, before he leaves Friday for a security conference in Myanmar, the Associated Press reported. The election audit from the June 14 presidential runoff resumed Monday after a holiday break, and could take weeks to complete. Both sides are alleging fraud. "The Secretary will encourage both candidates to work together in the spirit of collegiality and statesmanship, to ensure national unity," the U.S. State Department said in a statement Thursday.
— Elizabeth Chuck
The Associated Press contributed to this report.