Afghan leader criticises US ambassador going to rival meet | world | Hindustan Times
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Afghan leader criticises US ambassador going to rival meet

world Updated: Jun 27, 2009 17:29 IST

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President Hamid Karzai criticised on Saturday the US ambassador's presence at a meeting calling for a decentralisation of his government, adding he would fight such moves "tooth and nail".

Karzai said ambassador Karl Eikenberry's attendance at a press conference this month, where a leading rival to the president in the August 20 elections had called for the change, was deeply sensitive and "raises concerns".

This was especially because of recent US and British media reports of plans laid in "Washington and in London to bring a change into the structure of governance in Afghanistan to weaken the central government of Afghanistan," Karzai said.

The plans would see the country's international partners "go to the strongmen that they like in Afghanistan and to put resources through them to Afghanistan," he said, referring to some of the governors of the 34 provinces.

"That is of immense sensitivity to the people of Afghanistan and to myself and that is something that we will fight tooth and nail," the president told reporters.

His office has already objected to Eikenberry's presence at the meeting where Abdullah Abdullah had said that as president he would decentralise the government from Kabul, handing power to the provinces in a federal system.