WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. and Afghan relations were strained because of a rough presidential transition in Washington, the Afghan ambassador to the United States said.
Said Tayeb Jawad, the Afghan envoy, in remarks at the U.S. Institute of Peace, a congressionally funded think tank, said U.S. President Barack Obama might have glossed over some of the challenges in Afghanistan when he took office in January.
"When the new administration came in there were a lot of changes and sometimes there was an oversimplification of the issues," he said.
Washington's relationship with incumbent Afghan President Karzai is at times rocky, notes Foreign Policy magazine. However, Jawad said the Obama administration has improved its cooperation with Kabul by realizing "you could not just get rid of a democratically elected president of a country because you really don't like him."
His comments came as Afghan elections monitors expect to release their findings from an examination of fraud in the Aug. 20 presidential elections. Karzai took a clear majority in uncertified results, though the level of apparent fraud could put him in a runoff against his closest rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.
Jawad acknowledged the possibility of a runoff, saying "any other arrangement" would create political difficulties.
Abdullah said recently he would consider a power-sharing arrangement, though Jawad downplayed that possibility.
"It might be a good political solution," he said, adding, "If you have a coalition government, then of course both sides will appoint those who are most loyal to them, so you are really sacrificing merits."