White House applauds Afghanistan power-share agreement that ends drawn out election

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Afghanistan's presidential election candidates Abdullah Abdullah, left, and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, right, shake hands after signing a power-sharing deal at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Afghanistan's two presidential candidates signed a power-sharing deal Sunday, capped with a hug and a handshake, three months after a disputed runoff that threatened to plunge the country into turmoil and complicate the withdrawal of U.S. and foreign troops. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)


FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 file photo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, from left, speaks as Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah Abdullah listen during a joint press conference in Kabul. Afghanistan's two presidential candidates were set to a sign a power-sharing deal on national TV on Sunday, three months after a disputed runoff that threatened to plunge the country into turmoil and complicate the withdrawal of U.S. and foreign troops. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration applauded the power-sharing deal signed Sunday by Afghanistan's two presidential candidates.

The agreement resolved a drawn-out dispute that threatened to plunge Afghanistan into political turmoil while complicating the withdrawal of U.S. and foreign troops.

A White House statement said the pact will help bring closure to Afghanistan's political crisis and restore "confidence in the way forward," and that the U.S. was ready to work with the new Afghan government to ensure success.

The deal is a victory for Secretary of State John Kerry, who got the candidates to agree in principle to share power during a July visit to Afghanistan.

Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai will become president and Abdullah Abdullah will hold the newly created post of chief executive.

Kerry hailed the resolution as "a moment of extraordinary statesmanship."

He said Afghanistan "has an enormous opportunity to grow stronger from this recent moment of testing."

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