The two candidates vying for the Afghanistan presidency struck a unity government deal today that includes both rivals, the Los Angeles Times reported.
An official “close to the talks” who “requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks” was cited as the source by the LA Times.
The stipulations surrounding the unity government pact were not immediately available, noted the article.
Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah are the two presidential candidates in Afghanistan.
Their agreement to join forces came a day before Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission is expected to announce the outcome of the controversial June runoff election.
The results, scheduled to be announced by the commission on Saturday, are expected to favor Ghani as the victor.
A new Afghan government would pave the way for the U.S. to settle the terms of a stalled Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), which will allow the United States to leave behind a residual military force to train and assist Afghan security forces.
President Obama has already approved a plan to shrink the U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan to a force of about 10,000 by the end of combat operations in December.
That number will be further reduced to an estimated 5,000 by the end of 2015 and a to small contingency force at the U.S. Embassy by the end of the following year.
On Thursday, Jan Kubis, the UN Assistance Mission chief in Afghanistan, said that there is “quite simply no better way forward” in Afghanistan short of a unity government agreement.