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Pompeo welcomes Afghan power-sharing deal, chides leaders for lost time

FILE PHOTO - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a media briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday welcomed a power-sharing deal to end a months-long political stalemate in Afghanistan, but chided President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah for taking so long.

“Secretary Pompeo noted that he regretted the time lost during the political impasse,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. “He reiterated that the priority for the United States remains a political settlement to end the conflict and welcomed the commitment by the two leaders to act immediately in support of prompt entry into intra-Afghan negotiations.”

Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Shumaker