Clinton, Karzai discuss "election fraud" comments by phone

13:14, April 03, 2010      

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai called U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday to clarify "election fraud" remarks in an effort to cool down the feud between both countries.

"They had a constructive conversation," U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a statement.

"President Karzai reaffirmed his commitment to the partnership between our two countries, and expressed his appreciation for the contributions and sacrifices of the international community," Crowley said.

"They pledged to continue working together in a spirit of partnership," he added.

In a speech on Thursday, Karzai accused foreign powers of organizing fraud during last year's presidential elections in his country. He also said the West wants to see him weak, although he did not specifically mention any country's name.

His remarks elicited a strong response from the United States. Earlier on Friday, the White House said it is seeking clarification from the Afghan president.

"Obviously, some of the comments of President Karzai are troubling. They're cause for real and genuine concern," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

In a press briefing earlier in the day, Crowley confirmed that U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry had met with Karzai to seek clarification on his remarks.

The relations between Karzai's government and the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama have been tense for a while, as the latter has been critical of Karzai's record on corruption.

Obama paid a sudden visit to Afghanistan recently, which was widely believed as an attempt to pressure Karzai into making serious efforts to rein in corruption.

Source: Xinhua


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