- Title: Ghani sworn in as Afghan president, rival holds parallel inauguration
- Date: 9th March 2020
- Summary: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (MARCH 9, 2020) (REUTERS) ASHRAF GHANI ARRIVING AT CEREMONY TO SWEAR IN AS THE NEW ELECT PRESIDENT OF AFGHANISTAN SUPPORTERS CLAPPING U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN ZALMAY KHALILZAD SHAKING HANDS WITH SOMEONE IN CROWD, U.S. CHARGÃ‰ D'AFFAIRES ROSS WILSON (LEFT, WEARING LIGHT BLUE TIE), U. S GENERAL AND COMMANDER OF NATO FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN SCOTT MILLER (WEARING MILITARY UNIFORM) ARRIVING AT CEREMONY AUDIENCE CLAPPING AND CHEERING / GHANI ON PODIUM ASHRAF GHANI SWEARING IN AS THE NEW ELECT PRESIDENT OF AFGHANISTAN AUDIENCE SEATED VARIOUS OF PRESIDENT GHANI SHAKING HANDS WITH SAYED YUSUF HALIM CHAIRMAN OF THE AFGHANISTAN'S SUPREME COURT AUDIENCE CLAPPING GHANI SPEAKING ON PODIUM AS ROCKETS EXPLOSIONS BEING HEARD / WOMEN ESCAPING THE CEREMONY (AUDIO OF EXPLOSIONS) ROCKET EXPLOSIONS BEING HEARD / CROWED LEAVING THE CEREMONY (AUDIO OF EXPLOSIONS) PEOPLE LEAVING (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) AFGHAN PRESIDENT, ASHRAF GHANI, SAYING: "We have seen many big attacks, so don't get scared of one or two explosions, stay calm." AUDIENCE CLAPPING AT CEREMONY (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) AFGHAN PRESIDENT, ASHRAF GHANI, SAYING: "Our responsibility is assuring peace and ending the 40 years of war. Be sure that a dignity peace will be coming with the courage of people and in the framework of the republic." AUDIENCE CLAPPING AND CHEERING (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) AFGHAN PRESIDENT, ASHRAF GHANI, SAYING: "I ask from my political rivals to come and serve this nation together and shoulder to shoulder." PRESIDENT GHANI RAISING HANDS OF HIS VICE-PRESIDENTS, AMRULLAH SALEH (LEFT) AND SARWAR DANISH (RIGHT)AT CEREMONY GHANI LEAVING THE CEREMONY / AUDIENCE CHANTING
- Keywords: Abdullah Abdullah Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Taliban United States second term withdrawal of U.S.-led international forces
- Reuters ID: LVA001C4BWDON
- Location: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- City: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- Country: Afghanistan
- Duration: 00:02:20
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Story Text: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was sworn in for a second term on Monday (March 9) but his main rival refused to recognise the inauguration and held his own swearing-in ceremony as a rival president.
Both Ghani and former chief executive Abdullah Abdullah say they are Afghanistan's rightful leader following a disputed election last September, a stand-off that threatens political chaos days after the United States and the Taliban signed a deal on the withdrawal of U.S.-led international forces.
Ghani's ceremony was disrupted by the sound of two rockets hitting the edge of the presidential palace compound in the capital Kabul, Reuters witnesses said, but there was no word of any casualties and he continued his speech.
Planned morning ceremonies were postponed, and guests kept waiting, while U.S. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad tried to broker a last-minute deal between the longtime political foes, but there was no immediate word of a breakthrough.
Television footage showed Ghani taking an oath at the presidential palace in a ceremony attended by foreign diplomats including Khalilzad and NATO forces commander Scott Miller.
Ghani said in a speech that the government he was forming would not include only members of his political camp though he would continue with the previous cabinet for two weeks.
He plans to finalise a negotiating team for talks with the Taliban on Tuesday and to make a further announcement on demands by the Islamist militant group for the release of 5,000 prisoners.
The Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and has been waging an insurgency since shortly after its fall from power, has made their release a condition for talks but Ghani said last week he had rejected the demand.
(Production: Mohammad Akram, Sayed Hassib, Hameed Farzad)
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