March 25 - U.S. Secretary of State Kerry met with Afghan President Karzai after weeks of heightened tensions over Afghan accusations of U.S.-Taliban collusion. Mana Rabiee reports.
A show of unity between the U.S. and Afghanistan. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai during an unannounced visit to Afghanistan Monday. The meeting comes after weeks of heightened tensions between the two countries. Earlier this month, Karzai accused Washington of holding peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar without him, adding the Taliban were colluding with America to keep foreign troops in the country. But following Monday's private meeting with Kerry, Karzai rejected that interpretation of his comments. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AFGHAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI SAYING: "Now the media, took that to say that I said there is a 'collusion'. I never used the word 'collusion' between the Taliban and the U.S. Those were not my words. Those were the (words) picked up by the media." Kerry also referenced Karzai's earlier comments. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY SAYING: "I am confident that the president absolutely does not believe that the United States has any interest except to see the Taliban come to the table to make peace and that we are completely cooperative with the government of Afghanistan with respect to the protection of their interests and their people." Karzai will now travel to Qatar. He'll be discussing the opening of a Taliban office for conducting negotiations in hopes to end a twelve year-long Afghan war.