Abdullah, Abdullah

Abdullah, Abdullah äbdəläˈ äbdəläˈ [key], 1960–, Afghan political leader. An ophthalmologist of Tajik and Pashtun ethnicity, he worked with guerrilla leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, head of the Northern Alliance, in the fight against the Taliban, and became (1998) the United Front's foreign minister. After the Taliban's overthrow, he was foreign minister (2001–6) under President Karzai. Abdullah ran against Karzai in the disputed 2009 election but withdrew from the runoff. Leading the National Coalition of Afghanistan, he ran again in 2014, losing to Ashraf Ghani in a runoff marred by charges of fraud; a power-sharing agreement led to Abdullah's appointment as chief executive, with responsibilities like those of a prime minister. The two again faced each other in the 2019 election, with similar results; a new power-sharing agreement made (2020) Abdullah head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.

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