US leaks on Karzai won’t affect diplomacy: Kabul

US-Afghan relations will not be affected by WikiLeaks, Kabul has said.

Kabul: Afghan relations with the United States will not be affected by leaked US criticism of President Hamid Karzai as an "extremely weak" and conspiracy-prone leader, his spokesman said on Monday.

Leaked US cables today also painted the president`s younger brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, a prominent politician in the south, as a corrupt drugs baron, and raised the issue of high-level corruption within the government.

Official graft has long been a deep concern of Western backers who see it as undermining the nine-year war against the Taliban.

But the leaks "won`t have any impact on the strategic relations between the US and Afghanistan", the president`s spokesman Waheed Omer told a news conference, describing the leaked reports as "not surprising".

"We`ll be studying the document and will take a stance should we find anything significant in it (but) from what we have seen so far there has not been much of any major significance."
He said the release of the cables was "unfortunate" but that it was "too early" to comment further.

On the criticism of Karzai as a weak leader, which follows negative US media reports, Omer said: "Such comments are not new. But the president... Will carry on with what he thinks is good for Afghanistan."
Internet whistleblower WikiLeaks has started to release quarter of a million confidential US diplomatic cables, detailing embarrassing and inflammatory episodes in what the White House has called a "reckless and dangerous action".

Bureau Report

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