It must have felt very uncomfortable for President Hamid Karzai to have his guest and "brother", Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, use a press conference in Kabul to attack Afghanistan's main donor and ally, the United States. "They themselves created terrorists and now they're saying that they are fighting terrorists," said Ahmadinejad, accusing the US of playing a "double game" in Afghanistan.
Ahmadinejad was in fact returning a compliment by the US defence secretary, Robert Gates, who only hours earlier had accused Tehran of "playing a double game" of offering friendship to the Afghan government while at the same time giving "low-level support" and money to the Taliban.
Karzai had always hoped to be the mediator between Iran and America, yet on this occasion, unwittingly, he became the messenger of abuse. He looked distinctly uneasy in the press conference, never knowing what Ahmadinejad may come up with in his next sentence.
"Your country is located on the other side of the world, so what are you doing here?" said Ahmadinejad, criticising the US presence in Afghanistan. Yet he didn't seem to be full of novel ideas for resolving the complex web of problems facing Afghanistan. He suggested empowering "the Afghan government, the legal Afghan government, and the legal government's running of the country and its security issues".
His stress on the word "legal" was not without reason. Like his own second term, Karzai's election was marred by... >>>
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