President Ashraf Ghani, who came to power two months back, on Sunday announced the new Council of Ministers would be unveiled in the next two to four weeks.
He made the announcement in the evening on the national TV in the presence of Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and other senior officials.
"The incoming cabinet will be comprised of people who were not part of the previous Council of Ministers. They will be competent and committed individuals with leadership qualities," he promised.
Ghani said the cabinet picks would be introduced gradually over the next two to four weeks to parliament. “We will work closely for the introduction of the new ministers," he pledged, referring to consultations with the CEO.
He once again emphasised merit and professionalism in the appointment of senior government officials. He claimed reaching agreement with the CEO in this regard.
Abdullah endorsed the presidential view and said ministers and senior government officials would be nominated on the basis of merit and the principle of national unity in the interest of the country.
The president also signed into law two vital security pacts with the US and NATO. The Bilateral Security Agreement and Status of Forces Agreement, providing for a continued foreign military presence in Afghanistan, were approved by the parliament last week.
With regard to the new NATO mission to train and assist Afghan forces, he said the country would enter a new phase with the end to the international combat mission a month later.
“We and the global fraternity have a shared interest in making Afghanistan stable, prosperous and peaceful. With this in mind, the world won’t leave Afghanistan alone,” he remarked.
As foreign combat troops prepare to leave the country, the president will meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Monday.
“We will satisfactorily discuss Afghanistan’s future with the NATO chief now that the atmosphere of mistrust has been cleared with the world in general, particularly with NATO and the US,” he remarked.
While calling peace a key requirement, he denounced a string of deadly attacks across the country in recent weeks. The Afghans opposed such incident, he said, adding a small minority that wanted to foment trouble would not be allowed to get away with such acts.