The announcement follows weeks of stalemate over the election with Karzai rejecting allegations of fraud to claim a vote majority, despite heavy criticism from key international allies in the country’s fight against a Taliban insurgency.

“We welcome the decision made by the Independent Election Commission, we believe the session is legitimate, legal and according to the constitution of Afghanistan,” Karzai told a news conference Tuesday…

Speaking after Karzai at Tuesday’s news conference, visiting U.S. Senator John Kerry said the president’s decision to agree to the runoff “will allow the national leadership to govern with legitimacy.”

“We believe with this decision by the president today that a time of enormous uncertainty has been transformed into great opportunity,” Kerry said.