Hamid Karzai, Abd Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, Yunus Qanooni and Mohammad Karim Khalili, in a joint statement on Sunday, urged President Ghani to stop the appointment of government officials for the time being.
The Afghan leaders, in the statement, also urged Abdullah Abdullah to extend his deadline saying “we hope that the peace talks will start as soon as possible.”
Over the past few days, President Ghani has made a number of changes in government posts, including Mohammad Hanif Atmar, the former national security adviser for the post of minister of foreign affairs; Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, the former minister of economy for the post of minister of finance; Tahir Zuhair, the current governor of central Bamiyan province as nominee for the post of minister of information and culture; Daud Sultanzoi, as mayor of Kabul city; Mohammad Shaker Kargar as chief of staff; Sayed Wahid Qatali as the governor of Herat; and Mohammad Ayoub Salangi as the deputy head of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) for finance and administrative affairs.
It is expected that Ghani will make more appointments in the coming days and send the nominees to the parliament for a vote of confidence.
At the same time, efforts are also underway to help Ghani and Abdullah resolve their differences.
Alice Wells, the US State Department's Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, in a tweet said that international aid requires partnership with an inclusive government, referring to Afghanistan.
“We all must hold Afghan leaders accountable to agree on a governing arrangement,” Wells said.
The two sides could not reach an agreement when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Kabul last month and held meetings with both leaders (together and separately). As a consequence, the US announced a $1 billion reduction of its annual aid to Afghanistan but said that the decision will be reviewed if a solution is found to the political impasse.
Abdullah Abdullah in a statement on Sunday accepted the Afghan political leaders’ call for the extension of the negotiations over ending the political crisis.
Abdullah pledged to cooperate with the political leaders to solve the crisis.
President Ghani will postpone appointing new people to govt posts for five days at the request of Afghan political leaders, in order to continue political talks, presidential adviser Waheed Omer says in a tweet.