Karzai, Abdullah have agreed to 'work together' to end election deadlock: French FM

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Kabul, Oct. 18 (ANI): French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said that Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and his top challenger Abdullah Abdullah have agreed to "work together" for a possible runoff vote to end the deadlock on the controversial general elections.

"They talked, both of them, about the necessity of working together," Kouchner said in Kabul after speaking separately with Karzai and Abdullah. Honestly, this is the minimum they could do," Kouchner said.

The global pressure is mounting on Karzai to hold a runoff vote, with diplomats from the US and France saying that both the election rivals must co-operate to resolve the situation.

Recently, Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United States, Said Tayeb Jawad, had said that the Karzai government is preparing for the Afghanistan Election Commission to announce that a runoff was necessary.

"Chances are there will be a second round, although it was not so sure up to a couple of days ago, but now it looks like there will be a second round," Jawed had said.

Jawed's statement came weeks after election fraud allegations plagued the Karzai government.

Afghan and American officials said the earliest that a runoff vote could be held was late this month or early next month, with results expected about two weeks later.

The election runoff reports are coming at a time when Karzai and Abdullah have suggested that a possibility of a power-sharing agreement.

Abdullah, during a news conference in Kabul, hinted that he might be willing to negotiate a power-sharing deal with Karzai, but only after an announcement about whether a runoff election is needed.

"It will be a different environment, no doubt, once the announcement is made. We reserve our reaction, and what to do post-announcement, for that period," Abdullah said. (ANI)

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