The State Department released a statement Monday in which it said the US strongly supports the decision by Afghanistan's Supreme Court to extend President Hamid Karzai's term of office until free and fair elections have been held.

According to Afghanistan's constitution, because Karzai's term in office is set to expire May 21, a vote for a successor must be held 30 to 60 days before the end of his term.

However, because of security risks posed by the Taliban and militants, Afghanistan's Supreme Court pushed the election back until August 20.

In order to keep stability of the country until the election, the court ruled that Karzai could remain in office until a successor was elected.

The United States strongly supports and welcomes this ruling, the State Department said in its statement about the decision.

We believe that continuity of government in the critical period before elections is vital and contributes to creating stability.

The department further stated that it urged all Afghans to support this ruling by the Supreme Court and to focus on the elections to be held on August 22, rather than continuing to question the status of their government.

Finally, the department said the US calls on the government of Afghanistan, joined by its international partners, to make every effort to ensure that the conditions are created for genuinely free and fair elections that will reflect the will of the Afghan people.

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