The scheduled joint press conference of President Karzai and the visiting US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel in Kabul was cancelled at last moment citing security reasons.
Reacting after two suicide bombs killed 19 people in Kabul and Khost on saturday, Karzai accused the US of negotiating with Taliban at the same time as murdering innocent Afghans.
He also asserted that the recent blasts were aimed at prolonging US led forces stay in that country. Karzai however offered no proof of the talks.
Hagel met with Karzai Sunday night and said that he discussed all the key issues with the president. He also rejected any suggestions that the U.S. is in collusion with the Taliban.
Speaking to reporters Hagel declined to detail his conversation with Karzai but said, “I think he understands where we are and where we’ve been, and hopefully where we’re going together”.
US officials said it was because of security concerns and not the president’s recent comments.
US has denied that it is collaborating with Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan to prolong the stay of its forces beyond next year, refuting an accusation made by President Hamid Karzai in the wake of a series of suicide bombings. Two explosions on Saturday killed 19 people in two different locations, including one in front of the Defense Ministry in the country’s capital Kabul.
He said Taliban suicide attacks on Saturday were aimed at intimidation that would prolong the presence of international troops in Afghanistan.
Taliban spokesperson statement as the terrorist acts coincided with Chuck Hagel’s first visit to Kabul as the US Defense Secretary, in which he was meant to discuss the gradual reduction of America’s presence and the fates of Afghans held in custody by US forces. “This attack was a message to him,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in the aftermath of the detonations.this is not how Karzai saw the incidents.
“Taliban leaders and representatives are talking with the US abroad every day,” he claimed.
The Taliban, a radical Islamic movement that controls swathes of the country, refuses to recognize Karzai’s legitimacy.
The Taliban has “strongly rejected” the accusations in an email communiqué.
The US and NATO forces commander in the country, General Joseph Dunford, also rebuffed Karzai’s allegations.
“We have fought too hard over the past 12 years, we have shed too much blood over the last 12 years, to ever think that violence or instability would be to our advantage,” Dunford said.
Meanwhile, the US embassy in Kabul reminded Karzai that it has not even held talks with radicals following a breakdown in negotiations exactly a year ago, and insisted that it has “long supported an Afghan-led process for Afghans to talk to Afghans”.
Karzai has form of making dramatic anti-American statements – including referring to NATO troops as “pillaging occupiers” – whether out of personal frustration, or a desire to portray himself as a sovereign leader and not an American puppet to his domestic audience.Gen Dunford stated that he had never heard Karzai express similar views to him in private.
Karzai and Hagel cancelled a joint news conference on Sunday, although US officials maintained that this was simply a security precaution, insisting the two men would still meet one-to-one.
They have a lot to discuss, following a string of apparent disagreements.The US has just reneged on a promise to hand over Bagram prison, in the east of the country, which harbors those US intelligence believes to be some of the most dangerous Taliban insurgents.
Although no official reason has been given, Karzai proclaimed last week that “we know there are innocent people in these jails, and I will order their release, as much as I am criticized for it”, and the statement appears to have infuriated Washington. Media agencies