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BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.N. urged Iraq's leaders Saturday to overcome their deep divisions and move quickly to form a new government that can unite the country and confront a surging militant threat, warning that failure to do so "risks plunging the country into chaos."
Afghanistan's feuding presidential rivals agreed Saturday to a full audit of every vote cast in the disputed runoff election, US Secretary of State John Kerry said following two days of frantic negotiations. The deadlock over last month's run-off vote to succeed outgoing President Hamid Karzai plunged Afghanistan into crisis and dented US hopes of a smooth transfer of power as Washington seeks to withdraw all its troops by late 2016. Preliminary results of the second-round vote put Ashraf Ghani in the lead, but Abdullah Abdullah -- who has already once lost a presidential bid -- declared himself the true winner, saying massive fraud robbed him of victory. The stand-off sparked concern that protests could spiral into ethnic violence and even lead to a return of the fighting between warlords that ravaged Afghanistan during the 1992-1996 civil war.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says both of Afghanistan's presidential candidates are committed to abiding by the results of the "largest, most comprehensive audit" of the election runoff ballots possible.