White House: Afghan president's comments cause ‘genuine concern’

The divide between President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai widened Friday as the White House said Karzai's recent harsh language toward the West is “cause for real and genuine concern.”

Karzai and Obama continue to be at odds, with Obama pushing Karzai harder on issues of corruption and governance and Karzai accusing the United States of aiding in invalidating Karzai’s initial election win last year, which was thought to be filled with instances of fraud.

In a speech, Karzai specifically accused Peter Galbraith, the deputy United Nations special representative to Afghanistan at the time of last year's election, of committing fraud.

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Karzai also said that the U.S. and its NATO allies are nearing invasion status. Obama is significantly increasing troop strength in Afghanistan as part of a new military strategy for the country.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called Karzai’s comments “troubling,” and said the State Department is working to seek “clarification about the nature of some of his remarks.”

The increased tension between Obama and Karzai comes just days after Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan.

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