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Afghanistan political crisis casts shadow over NATO summit

Afghanistan political crisis casts shadow over NATO summit
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Despite a UN-led audit of votes from June’s disputed presidential election, the threat of further turmoil in Afghanistan hangs over this week’s NATO summit.

It follows the collapse of talks on a power-sharing deal, with former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah’s campaign threatening to withdraw from the political process.

It is “at a stalemate” said Mohammad Mohaqeq, one of Abdullah’s vice presidential running mates.

“If it continues like this, we don’t see any way out.”

Abdullah and his rival, ex finance minister Ashraf Ghani, had agreed to the deal brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry but it was left to the two campaigns to work out the specifics of power sharing.

NATO has faced criticism over civilians killed in air strikes or night raids.

Kabul residents nonetheless worry that the departure of foreign forces could lead to worse violence or the return of the Taliban, ousted from power by a US-led invasion in 2001.