Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on 21 September on the agreement between Afghanistan’s two presidential candidates to establish a government of national unity:
This is a good day for Afghanistan. By agreeing on a government of national unity, the two presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, have resolved the months of severe political deadlock in Afghanistan, thus finally paving the way for the urgently needed next stages in the struggle for a better future for the country.
By reaching this agreement, the two candidates have shown that they respect the will of the courageous Afghans who flocked to the polls in large numbers, despite all the threats and attempts at intimidation. Following many long weeks of uncertainty, the voters’ courage has now paid off.
The government of national unity will be supported by a broad coalition. Concrete steps must now be taken without delay. The government must rapidly tackle the economic and social challenges. The members of the government of national unity are called upon to leave the tensions and disagreements of the past weeks and months behind in the interests of the Afghan people and to cooperate closely with each other in a spirit of mutual trust.