Afghan President summons US Ambassador over "civil war" remark
Afghan President Hamid Karzai summoned Washington's ambassador in Kabul to protest a fellow American diplomat's remarks that Afghanistan is experiencing a civil war, the U.S. Embassy confirmed Wednesday.
The comments made by U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins, came at a time when Afghan leaders are trying to ease concerns about what would unfold in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the planned US withdrawal in 2014.
As reported in The Daily Star, as foreign troops have reduced their presence, Taliban militants have stepped up attacks, and some fear that the years after the 2014 withdrawal could see a return to the bloody civil war of the early 1990s.
In a recent interview with Voice of America's Deewa news service, Dobbins said, "there already is, of course, a civil war in Afghanistan."
Karzai spokesman Aimal Faizi did not take kindly to Mr. Dobbin's remark. He said that Mr. Dobbins' assertion suggested that the U.S. was an actor in a civil war instead of fighting terrorism.
U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham was summoned to the presidency on Tuesday over the matter, the embassy confirmed.
The spokesman of the American mission in Afghanistan tried to downplay the remarks by saying that Mr. Dobbins was merely using "a standard academic term in the context of describing the need for Afghans to speak to Afghans to achieve peace." He added that the United States was committed to maintaining stability in Afghanistan.