Days After Obama Visit, Hamid Karzai Lashes Out At “Foreigners”

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Afghan president Hamid Karzai will be coming to Washington in May. Over the weekend, he met with President Obama in Kabul, saying:

I welcome you on behalf of the Afghan people and express the gratitude of our people for the help that America has given us in the past eight years, for the assistance given.  And I hope that this process will continue into the future towards a stable, strong, peaceful Afghanistan that can sustain itself, that can move forward into the future with confidence and better hopes.

Three days later, Karzai is singing a different tune, accusing “foreigners,” a.k.a. the U.S. and its western allies, of corruption and attempting to undermine Afghan democracy. From the New York Times:

“Foreigners will make excuses, they do not want us to have a parliamentary election,” a defiant Karzai told a gathering of election officials. “They want parliament to be weakened and battered, and for me to be an ineffective president and for parliament to be ineffective. . . You have gone through the kind of elections during which you were not only threatened with terror, you also faced massive interference from foreigners. . . Some embassies also tried to bribe the members of the commission. . . There was fraud in the presidential and provincial election, with no doubt there was massive fraud. This wasn’t fraud by Afghans but the fraud of foreigners, the fraud of Galbraith, of Morillon and the votes of the Afghan nation were in the control of an embassy.”

Spencer Ackerman has the response from Peter Galbraith, the former U.S. ambassador and U.N. envoy. If things continue down this path, the May meeting at the White House should be interesting.

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