Monday, March 14, 2011

Afghan Leader Questions U.S. Military Operations

  By ROD NORDLAND, The New York Times, March 12, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan — President Hamid Karzai on Saturday appeared to call for NATO and the United States to cease military operations in Afghanistan, but then issued a clarification saying that he was referring only to specific operations that had caused civilian casualties.

Shah Marai/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
A mixed message from Hamid Karzai has raised tensions with American officials.
nar Province, the Afghan president told relatives and neighbors of civilian victims that he sympathized with their plight. “With great honor and with great respect, and humbly rather than with arrogance, I request that NATO and America should stop these operations on our soil,” he said. “This war is not on our soil. If this war is against terror, then this war is not here, terror is not here.”

Mr. Karzai’s remarks were made at a memorial service for the victims, in the presence of local officials as well as the second highest ranking American general in Afghanistan, David M. Rodriguez. “Our demand is that this war should be stopped,” Mr. Karzai said. “This is the voice of Afghanistan.”

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