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NATO Chief Urges Afghanistan To Resolve Election Dispute

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen prepares to speak to the media at the Celtic Manor resort, near Newport, in Wales, September 4, 2014.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has urged rival candidates in Afghanistan to resolve an election dispute that has delayed the inauguration of a new president.

Afghanistan is expected to sign security agreements allowing the alliance to deploy a training mission after the withdrawal of its forces by the end of this year.

Rasmussen, speaking after arriving for a NATO summit in Wales, he hoped the documents would be signed in time for NATO to deploy the mission on January 1, 2015.

"But of course, we are approaching the date when that decision have to be made so I encourage the presidential candidates to complete the electoral process as soon as possible in a way can be agreed by both candidates," he said.

Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani have both claimed victory in a June 14 runoff.

The new president was initially to have been inaugurated on August 2.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters