U.S. Irked By Karzai After Hearing He Mused About Joining Taliban : The Two-Way Afghan President Hamid Karzai reportedly said over the weekend that he might join the Taliban because of the pressure he's getting from the U.S. and other allies to enact reforms.
NPR logo U.S. Irked By Karzai After Hearing He Mused About Joining Taliban

U.S. Irked By Karzai After Hearing He Mused About Joining Taliban

Karzai and Obama in Kabul on March 28. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images) hide caption

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Karzai and Obama in Kabul on March 28. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

The Obama administration expressed frustration with Afghan President Hamid Karzai today as reports surfaced that Karzai said over the weekend that he might join the Taliban because of the pressure he's getting from the U.S. and other allies to enact reforms.

"On behalf of the American people, we're frustrated with the remarks," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters this morning.

According to the Associated Press, the news of what Karzai reportedly said came from Afghan lawmakers who met with him Saturday.

"He said that 'if I come under foreign pressure, I might join the Taliban'," said Farooq Marenai, who represents the eastern province of Nangarhar, AP reported.

The wire service added that "lawmakers dismissed the latest comment as hyperbole, but it will add to the impression the president — who relies on tens of thousands of U.S. and NATO forces to fight the insurgency and prop up his government — is growing increasingly erratic and unable to exert authority without attacking his foreign backers."

It was just over a week ago that President Barack Obama paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan. While there, Obama pressed for more accountability from Afghan leaders and a crackdown on corruption. Karzai, as the AP reported, promised that his country "would move forward into the future" to eventually take over its own security, and he thanked Obama for the American intervention in his country.