• KERRY MAKES KARZAI CALL AMID AFGHAN POLL FEARS

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    WASHINGTON D.C.: US Secretary of State John Kerry called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) and urged him to address concerns of the rivals vying to succeed him, amid fears an election dispute could trigger instability. Kerry also “stressed the importance of national unity and a peaceful political process,” a State Department spokesperson said, after the preliminary result of Afghanistan’s presidential election run-off was delayed for days for a recount of ballots in 2,000 voting centers. Afghan voters on June 14 chose between former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani. Abdullah, previously seen as the poll front-runner, has boycotted the election process over what he said was “blatant fraud,” while Ghani has said the election was clean and that he is more than one million votes ahead.

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