Washington: US President Barack Obama today urged the rival candidates in Afghanistan's disputed election to come to an agreement on a national unity government to end the crisis over the vote.
Both presidential candidates claim to have won the June 14 election, triggering a political stalemate and rising ethnic tension as US-led NATO combat troops withdraw after 13 years of fighting the Taliban.
In telephone calls with both candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, Obama "emphasized the importance of concluding a deal on the national unity government as soon as possible in the interest of shoring up international support for Afghanistan and preserving Afghan stability," the White House said.
"The President reaffirmed the United States' commitment to support Afghanistan, its people, and the president and chief executive, should the agreement be formalized, in their efforts to form a new unity government," it said.
The United Nations has said results of an audit into the polls should be finalized by September 10, with the delayed inauguration of President Hamid Karzai's successor scheduled to be held soon after.