US rejects claims its pushing for interim government in Afghanistan
US Chargé d’Affaires to Kabul Ross Wilson said Wednesday afternoon that the United States has not advocated for an interim government nor is it advocating for one.
Afghan voice agency (AVA)_“We have not advocated, and the United States is not advocating, an interim government,” Wilson tweeted.
He said the United States is committed to bringing about an end to conflict in Afghanistan through a political settlement that ensures the country remains sovereign, unified and democratic, is at peace with itself and its neighbors and can preserve gains made over the last 19 years.
He stated that the first phase of Afghanistan Peace Negotiations in Doha constituted an important step forward, “but much remains to be done”.
“The United States remains firm in its call for an immediate reduction of violence and ceasefire,” he said.
Wilson also stated that he had spoken with the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and that he has “and will continue to talk with Afghans about the need to accelerate the talks in and solicited from those we have met their ideas, as well as their concerns.”
“The outcomes of Afghanistan are up to Afghans and we believe those outcomes should reflect the wishes and aspirations of the Afghan people,” he said.
Mention was first made about an interim government early last week when sources stated President Ashraf Ghani refused to meet with Khalilzad in Kabul for this very reason.
Sources stated that Khalilzad was urging a shift to an interim government but that Ghani was opposed to the idea.
On Sunday some Afghan politicians said that Ghani has cultivated new “friendships” with some of his critics in order to avoid an interim government and to stay in power.
This comes after Ghani appointed Mohammad Mohaqiq, head of the Wahdat-i-Islami Party, as his senior political and military adviser and introduced Rahila Dostum as a member of the Wolesi Jirga (Upper House of Parliament).
Mohaqiq’s appointment comes after a reported “cold shoulder” in the past after not having been invited to the Presidential Palace for any meetings.
“All political parties think that an interim government should be established. If Ghani thinks that he will be in power for four years it may be a reason for the appointments,” said Sattar Murad, a leading member of -e-Islami_party.
Sources close to Mohaqiq said that the move to appoint him was based on his abilities and role in the peace process.
The Presidential Palace on Saturday vowed to retain Afghanistan as a republic and only hand over power to an elected successor.