US envoy hits back at Karzai over anti-US remark

The US ambassador to Afghanistan publicly reproached Hamid Karzai for painting American forces as occupiers.

Kabul: The US ambassador to Afghanistan
publicly reproached Afghanistan`s president on Monday for painting
American forces here as occupiers and enemies one of the
strongest signs yet that Afghanistan`s international allies
are no longer willing to excuse President Hamid Karzai`s
harangues as harmless domestic politicking.

US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry told university students
and faculty in the western city of Herat that he felt the need
to speak from his heart as he reaches the end of his two-year
tour as ambassador. The words that came next were strongly
critical of the Afghan president, without naming Karzai.

"I find occasional comments from some of your leaders
hurtful and inappropriate," Eikenberry told the crowd
according to a transcript of the speech.

In recent speeches, Karzai has said the US is in
danger of becoming an occupying force, threatened to take
unspecified "unilateral action" against international forces
that conduct air strikes and accused international allies of
undermining and corrupting his government.

The US envoy hit back hard.

"When Americans, who are serving in your country at
great cost in terms of lives and treasure, hear themselves
compared with occupiers, told that they are only here to
advance their own interest, and likened to the brutal enemies
of the Afghan people... they are filled with confusion and
grow weary of our effort here," Eikenberry said.

"Mothers and fathers of fallen soldiers, spouses of
soldiers who have lost arms and legs, children of those who
lost their lives in your country they ask themselves about the
meaning of their loved one`s sacrifice."


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