Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced visit here on Thursday to press Afghanistan’s rival presidential candidates to form a government of national unity and rescue the political agreement he negotiated almost four weeks ago. The Obama administration is urging Afghan politicians to accept the result of an internationally monitored audit so a new president can be inaugurated before NATO nations hold a summit meeting in Wales in early September. “We would like to see the president inaugurated and arriving at NATO as part of a government of national unity,” said a senior State Department official who is traveling with Mr. Kerry.
Getting a new Afghan president into office would require the rival campaigns of Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani to stop the infighting that has delayed the auditing of votes from the June 14 runoff presidential election, which was marred by allegations of widespread fraud.
Mr. Kerry met separately Thursday evening at the American Embassy compound with Mr. Ghani and Mr. Abdullah, and with Jan Kubis, the senior United Nations official here.
Neither American nor Afghan officials disclosed what was discussed.