Karzai, Obama Playing Nice … for NowApril 10, 2010 - 1:40 PM | by: Conor Powell
KABUL- They are both presidents and allies fighting a common enemy but in recent months their relationship has been anything but amiable. In fact, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and President Barack Obama have often looked like they are on opposite side of the war on terror.
But after a month in which President Karzai told Afghan lawmakers he might consider joining the Taliban if Western officials didn’t stop pushing him to clean up corruption and President Obama paid a quick, and some say undiplomatic, six hours visit to Afghanistan, both sides appear to be making an effort to reset the relationship.
On Friday, U.S Ambassador Karl Eikenberry hand delivered a personal note from President Obama to President Karzai. The letter thanked President Karzai for organizing last month’s unannounced trip, and reaffirmed America’s commitment to Afghanistan.
“The temperature got needlessly high,” said one U.S. official, “this letter is an attempt to defuse the situation.”
Just one day later, President Karzai made his first trip in more than a year to the NATO headquarters to meet with Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Though the two men meet regularly at the Presidential Palace, this was the first time President Karzai had visited the NATO headquarters since Gen. McChrystal took command last spring.
Deep divisions remain between the Presidents Obama and Karzai, but for now it appears they have both decided to play nice, at least in public.