U.S. troubled by Karzai statements

April 7, 2010 at 1:44 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai's public statements against the West could cost him his invitation to visit the United States, the White House indicated.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Karzai's remarks were "troubling … and found to be untruthful," raising questions about the value of his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama set for next month, CNN reported.

Obama, who made a surprise six-hour trip to Kabul last month, issued the invitation to Karzai to visit Washington May 12.

Gibbs was quoted as saying the U.S. government would evaluate future remarks by Karzai to determine whether the meeting with Obama should take place.

Last week, Karzai, who won a second term after elections that were heavily criticized for irregularities, was quoted as accusing foreigners of polling problems and saying the foreigners want a "puppet government."

Karzai also was quoted as telling a meeting of tribal leaders the U.S.-led coalition will not go after the Taliban in Kandahar "until you say we can." The anti-insurgency campaign in Kandahar is expected to begin in June.

"I can't speak to why he said those things," Gibbs said. "They're troubling. They are confusing. They've been investigated and found to be untruthful."

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