President Ghani issued two separate decrees on Saturday: the first decree appointed former national security adviser Mohammad Haneef Atmar as acting foreign minister, and the second decree stated that Atmar was a nominee for the same but full-fledged foreign minister position, pending the Afghan parliament's confirmation.
Atmar was also a candidate in last year’s presidential election but he withdrew his candidacy before starting the campaign last summer. However, he did not endorse any candidate in the presidential race.
Atmar has also served as minister of rural development and rehabilitation, minister of education and minister of interior affairs. He resigned from his post as national security adviser in August 2018.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was previously run by Mohammad Haroon Chakhansuri, the deputy minister of foreign affairs for policy.
This comes as President Ghani recently appointed head of Hizb-e-Islami Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal as acting minister of finance, Mohammad Tahir Zuhair as acting minister of information and culture, Shakir Kargar as his chief of staff, and Sayed Wahid Qatali as governor of Herat.
The Presidential Palace has said the process of appointing the cabinet will continue.
In an address to Afghan lawmakers on Friday, Ghani defended his new cabinet, saying it will be a cabinet in which all Afghans will feel represented.
“Participation of all ethnic groups in Afghanistan, the participation of all zones of Afghanistan… the participation of all provinces in the government, the participation of Afghan women and men, the participation of influential political figures and talented managers all are the measures by which I am selecting (the cabinet),” Ghani said.