KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- President Hamid Karzai's office says his remarks in an interview that Afghanistan would side with Pakistan in a war with the United States were misinterpreted.
The issue relates to Karzai's reported comments in his weekend interview with Pakistan's Geo TV, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
The Times said a transcript of the interview released by Karzai's office showed the remarks came at the end of a long interview in both English and Urdu. The transcript showed the Afghan leader urging several times that Pakistan move against Islamic militants with havens on its territory.
Asked whether Afghanistan would support Pakistan if a war broke out with the United States, Karzai first replied "God forbid."
Later, he was quoted as saying: "If a war ever breaks [out] between Pakistan and America, we will side [with] Pakistan. Afghanistan would stand with you. Afghanistan is your brother."
The Times quoted Karzai spokesman Siamak Herawi as saying the president had not intended any slight to the Western governments that have poured billions of dollars into Afghanistan.
"The media misinterpreted [Karzai's] speech," Herawi said.
He said Karzai only wanted to express solidarity with Pakistan, which has taken in millions of Afghan refugees in the past.
The Times said Western military officials and diplomats, while privately dismayed, have not attached much significance in public to Karzai's remarks.