Abdullah Abdullah, who on Sunday signed a political agreement with President Ashraf Ghani granting him--Abdullah--the leadership of the newly-established High Council for Peace and National Reconciliation and more broadly a share in executive authority, called for the nation to come together to form a more inclusive and accountable administration.
“As we commit to forming a more inclusive, accountable and competent administration, we are also reminded of the hard lessons to respect laws, fight the coronavirus, fraud, injustice and corruption,” Abdullah said. “We now need to come together as a nation, and strive to seek solutions that are practical.”
The agreement came after months of discord and negotiations between Ghani and Abdullah’s teams.
“The agreement signed today is not a privilege or a handout,” Abdullah said, “it’s rooted in the last election and every clean vote. It comes at a very difficult time when we face serious threats. It's meant to ensure a path to peace, improve governance, protect rights, and respect laws and values.”
In this agreement, Abdullah will be given a 50 percent share in the cabinet and provincial appointments. Also, former vice president Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum will be given the marshal rank.
“No individual or group can impose their will by force or against the national interest,” Abdullah said. “We cannot afford to squander opportunities and international goodwill, especially for a just and comprehensive peace through talks.”
Abdullah vowed to do his best to work with all sides for the peace process.
He also expressed sympathy for those who lost loved ones in the Kabul and Nangarhar attacks.
President Ashraf Ghani congratulated Abdullah Abdullah on taking charge of the High National Reconciliation Council and said that Afghans believe he will perform the role in the "best spirit," adding that the government and the Afghans will support him in his new mission.
President Ghani also said it is a "great day in the history of Afghanistan," because the signing of the agreement proved that Afghans can move forward without the help of foreign mediators.
Abdullah at the signing ceremony thanked the international community for supporting the Afghan democratic process in Afghanistan and said that he is happy that the political stalemate has come to an end.
He said that the stalemate had created serious problems for the country, including an aid cut by the US and a surge of violence in the country.
All Afghans support a move toward a dignified peace process, and the Afghan people have made enormous sacrifices for democratic values, said Abdullah.
Former president Karzai, also at the signing ceremony, said the country cannot experience a more bitter situation than the recent attack in which newborn babies lost their lives minutes after they were born.