Kabul — President Hamid Karzai lashed out at the U.N. and international community Thursday, accusing them of interfering in last year’s fraud-tarnished presidential election and seeking to weaken his authority after parliament rejected his bid to expand his control over the country’s electoral institutions.
Karzai did not specifically mention the United States, but his harsh words — and his practice of blaming foreigners for the nation’s problems — reflect his increasingly difficult relations with Washington and its international allies.
President Barack Obama paid an unannounced visit here Sunday in hopes of setting a new tone in dealings with the Afghan leader, as the U.S.-led coalition prepares for a showdown with the Taliban this summer in its southern stronghold of Kandahar — Karzai’s home province.
The Obama administration has maintained a reliable Afghan political partner is critical to turning back the Taliban, and State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley rejected any attempt to undermine Karzai.