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Afghan Presidential Candidates Pledge To Form Unity Government

Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates told NATO leaders they are committed to forming a national unity government when the dispute over the presidential vote is resolved.

In a joint message sent to the NATO summit in Britain on September 4, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah wrote, "We believe in an inclusive political vision. We will form a government of national unity."

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said leaders from NATO members received the message.

A UN-led audit of the ballots is currently being held after claims of massive fraud.

Rasmussen said earlier on September 4 that "we are approaching the date" when an Afghan president must sign a security agreement with NATO that would allow a small force to stay in Afghanistan after alliance forces withdraw at the end of 2014.

President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign the agreement.

Based on reporting by Reuters