The US peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad in a tweet on Wednesday said that the Afghan leaders “should ensure that the new government is inclusive and reflects the aspirations of all Afghans.”
“As the electoral process has concluded, President Ghani, as the declared winner, and other leaders should ensure that the new government is inclusive and reflects the aspirations of all Afghans,” Khalilzad tweeted.
Khalilzad also said that the Afghan Foreign Ministry announced the postponement of tomorrow’s planned presidential inauguration ceremony, adding: “I welcome President Ghani’s decision to postpone the event until March 9.”
“This will allow time for necessary consultations so that the best interests of Afghanistan and its people are reflected and preserved by the new government,” he added.
Following Khalilzad’s announcement, the Presidential Palace also announced the postponement of the inauguration ceremony.
Also on Tuesday, the State Department issued a release reacting to the Afghan Independent Election Commission’s announcement of the final election results of the Afghan poll and called for a focus on peace rather than an engagement with electoral politics.
The statement reads that the United States notes the announcement of the presidential elections in Afghanistan “in favor of President Ashraf Ghani” and that it expects the concerns about the election process to be “handled in accordance with constitutional and legal procedures.”
The statement referred to the ongoing rift between President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah over the final results of the polls. Abdullah also claims victory and has vowed to form his own “inclusive government.”
The US Department of State said in the statement that “we call on the new government to be inclusive and reflect the aspirations of all Afghans.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a statement on Tuesday urged “all Afghans to demonstrate national unity in support of the peace process.”
“I commend the determination of the Afghan people, who exercised their democratic right to vote in the elections, and I pay tribute to the Afghan security forces, who served with professionalism and bravery to secure the vote,” said Stoltenberg, adding: ”Any concerns about the electoral process should be addressed according to constitutional and legal procedures.”
He called on all Afghan political actors to refrain from taking steps that would escalate tensions and undermine political stability.