MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): An American diplomat in the northern Afghanistan on Thursday hoped the Afghans would actively participate in next year’s presidential and provincial council elections.
Peter Kaestner told a news conference in Mazari-Sharif the United States was confident the election would be transparent and inclusive and its outcome would be acceptable to all Afghans.
“The elections will be Afghan-led and the US will only provide assistance to them in conducting the process in a free and fair manner,” the diplomat remarked, explaining the Americans did not support any particular candidate or party.
In response to a query, Kaestner said any decision on Taliban’s participation in the election had to be taken by the Afghan government and the Independent Election Commission.
While cooperating with Afghanistan in diverse fields, he said the US was currently implementing 40 different programmes in the country in areas of enhancing the capacity of election staff, reconstruction, education, agriculture and water supply.

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