Time for a little more presidential backpedaling? Hamid Karzai’s remark about joining the Taliban didn’t thrill the White House.
Relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan were further strained over the weekend after the White House caught wind of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s musings that he might join the Taliban as a reaction to pressure from the West to make some changes in his country.
Politico reported over the weekend that Karzai called U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday to “clarify” the accusations he’d made earlier that week about the United States’ alleged role in election fraud in his country. However, that call apparently happened before Karzai let fly with his comment about taking up with the Taliban, which spurred White House press secretary Robert Gibbs to voice dismay “on behalf of the American people” on Monday.
“The Two-Way” on NPR:
“On behalf of the American people, we’re frustrated with the remarks,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters this morning.
According to the Associated Press, the news of what Karzai reportedly said came from Afghan lawmakers who met with him Saturday.
“He said that ‘if I come under foreign pressure, I might join the Taliban’,” said Farooq Marenai, who represents the eastern province of Nangarhar, AP reported.