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Abdullah Abdullah, leading contender to replace Karzai in Afghanistan, vows to sign troop agreement with U.S. if elected

Leading Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday that he would sign an agreement to keep international forces in Afghanistan, and aid dollars flowing, if he were elected to succeed President Hamid Karzai.

Karzai has thus far demurred signing such a deal – a so-called Status of Forces Agreement – to the frustration of the United States and its allies.

U.S. forces are currently scheduled to pull out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

“When we are asking President Karzai to sign it, and when we say that it is in the interest of Afghanistan that that agreement is signed sooner rather than later, that means that we will be ready to sign it when time comes,” he said.

Not only has Karzai refused to sign a deal, he has chosen this moment, the twilight of his presidency, to lash out at his supposed allies.

"They did not work for me, they worked against me," Karzai said in an interview this weekend with the UK’s Sunday Times. "America has left me with a mess."

Abdullah told Amanpour that Afghanistan will need the financial and military support of the international community “for years to come.”

“It’s highly risky what President Karzai is pursuing at the moment,” Abdullah said. “It has creating a shadow over every other thing which is happening in this country, and the people are extremely worried.”

As campaigning kicked off to succeed President Karzai, two of Abdullah’s staffers were killed – “assassinated,” as Abdullah put it – in the Afghan province of Herat.

“The environment is not risk free, but when I look at the enthusiasm of the Afghan people to participate in the elections – that is part of it is encouraging. It is highly encouraging.”

TODAY'S WORD
Monitors Worry About Runoff Fraud
 

A number of Afghan election monitoring groups have warned that the runoff round of this year's presidential race could face increased fraud on the part of candidates so long as the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) have staff members supporting one or the other candidate and engaging in fraud themselves. more......

DIALOGUE
Regional Experts Develop Common Vision for Future Afghanistan
Around 60 regional multidisciplinary and leading experts and specialists from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, the Central Asian Republics, China, India, Russia and Turkey presented a common view on the future of Afghanistan in Kabul through the launch of the “Joint Declaration on Regional Peace and Stability.”click here..
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Articles

Meeting a Young Dr. Abdullah

 
It had been a long journey into the Hindu Kush mountains, starting in the Northwest of Pakistan in the summer of 1987. We began by secretly crossing the border into Afghanistan, trekking through Nuristan and finally making it over half a dozen 10,000-foot mountains to the Panjshir Valley. There, I   more......
 


Abdullah Abdullah Moves Toward Center of Afghan Power

 

KABUL, Afghanistan — AFTER decades roaming the margins of power — as a close aide to the revered resistance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, as a foreign minister and later as Afghanistan’s perennial opposition leader — Abdullah Abdullah may finally be arriving at the center of it all.Since his electoral loss to President Hamid Karzai in 2009, Mr. Abdullah, who is of mixed Pashtun and Tajik ethnicity, has widened his political base, having used persuasion and energy to forge alliances built  more......

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Biography
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah: In His Own Words
 
I was born about fifty years ago in this house (pointing to his father’s house located in Kart-e-Parwan, Kabul). My father Ghulam Muhayuddin was from Kandahar province and my mother was from Panjshir. Before moving to Kart-e-Parwan my parents lived in the De Afghanan area of Kabul more......
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VIDEO GALLERY

The Afghan Election  The Man Who Could Upset Karzai

In Afghanistan's presidential race, the top challenger to President Karzai is former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah

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