Obama urges quick formation of new Afghan government

US President Barack Obama has urged Afghan leaders to move faster toward forming a new government, days ahead of their planned visit to Washington.

Washington: US President Barack Obama has urged Afghan leaders to move faster toward forming a new government, days ahead of their planned visit to Washington.

In a video conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah on Thursday, Obama "encouraged accelerated Afghan progress" in forming an "inclusive" national unity government, the White House said in a statement.

A full cabinet is not in place yet despite a power-sharing agreement reached in September 2014 between Ghani and Abdullah, who are scheduled to meet Obama on March 24, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

Obama expressed his expectation to the Afghan leaders that "their visit to Washington later this month will demonstrate our mutual commitment to a strengthened US-Afghan strategic partnership," the statement said.

It said the trio also discussed the ongoing efforts by security forces to improve security in Afghanistan and the importance of "countering extremist threats" posed by terror groups.

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