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Amid relief that a dangerous rift in the country’s troubled democracy has been averted, Afghan officials praised a deal between presidential contenders brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and said Sunday they hope to finish a full ballot audit within weeks. Kerry unveiled the breakthrough deal Saturday night, with both hopefuls promising to abide by the results of the audit, followed by plans for the winner to form a government of national unity with participation of the losing side. The agreement followed a marathon series of shuttle meetings between the two candidates who took part in the June 14 runoff — former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.



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