Karzai stands by vote fraud claims against West

President Hamid Karzai said he stood behind accusations that the West was responsible for election fraud in Afghanistan, despite having incurred the White House's anger over the comments.

His remarks appeared to intensify the quarrel, by directly blaming Washington for what he has described as "massive fraud" aimed at weakening him and his government.

"What I said about the election was all true, I won't repeat it, but it was all true," Karzai told the BBC.

"That the US carried out the fraud?" the BBC correspondent asked.

"That's exactly what happened; I mentioned the elements who did it," Karzai said.

He added: "We have partnership, we want to continue this alliance and partnership with the United States and the rest of the world, in the interest of both of us. But this has to be understood by all that Afghanistan is a sovereign country."

Karzai levelled the accusations that the West was behind election fraud in a speech on Thursday, prompting the White House to demand an explanation and the US State Department to call the claims "preposterous".

The White House expressed further frustration on Monday about recent anti-Western remarks made by Afghan President Hamid Karzai but said a May meeting between him and President Barack Obama was still scheduled.

"The remarks are genuinely troubling. The substance of the remarks, as have been looked into by many, are obviously not true," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

In his speech on Thursday, Karzai said foreigners had bribed and threatened election workers to carry out fraud in last year's presidential election. He singled out the former deputy head of the UN mission in Kabul - American diplomat Peter Galbraith - as well as the French head of a European Union monitoring team.

While he did not single out the United States explicitly in his comments last week, he said: "The votes of the Afghan nation were in the control of an embassy."

Washington has by far the largest embassy in Kabul.

On Sunday, despite a conciliatory call to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday, Karzai again distanced himself from his Western backers by telling tribal elders Afghans need to see their leaders are not "puppets" and that government officials should not let "foreigners" meddle in their work.

Gibbs said Obama's 12 May meeting with Karzai was still on and that Washington will continue to work with him, but has set benchmarks for his government.

"President Karzai is the elected leader of Afghanistan," he said. "We have outlined, as I said, a series of things that President Karzai has to do and that - and others throughout all levels of government have to do."

Gibbs said he did not expect Karzai's comments to affect the US Congress' consideration of the Obama administration's budget request for Afghan war funding.

"What our military is doing there in order to stamp out extremism and to ensure that the Taliban and its extremist allies are incapable of coming back to Afghanistan and setting up a safe haven by which to plan further attacks on the United States - preventing that from happening is strongly in our national interest," Gibbs said.

When asked if the White House was concerned that Karzai's comments could erode public support for the war, Gibbs expressed further frustration.

"On behalf of the American people, we're frustrated with the remarks."

Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments