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Afghan candidates agree to end election dispute

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens during a meeting with Afghanistan
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens during a meeting with Afghanistan's presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, during a meeting at U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini, Pool)
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By Matthew Lee, The Associated Press

KABUL - Afghanistan's feuding presidential candidates have agreed to resolve their election dispute and say they will set the inauguration before the end of August.

The breakthrough comes as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry opened a second day of talks in Afghanistan on Friday aimed at preventing the fragile country from collapsing into political chaos after disputed elections.

Kerry paid a courtesy call on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and met later with the two men, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. They've been locked in a bitter dispute over who will succeed Karzai.

Abdullah calls the agreement a -- quote -- "step forward in the interests of strengthening national unity ... and bringing hope to the people for the future of Afghanistan."

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