Afghans rap Obama administration over borders

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again reaffirms the historic importance of the Durand Line for the Afghan people and reiterates its long-standing position that only the Afghan nation can determine its status,” the ministry said in a statement Wednesday. “U.S. policy concerning the recognition of Durand Line is not a new development and has no bearing on the views of the Afghan people or the policy of the Government of Afghanistan on this issue.”

The issue has boiled over in recent days after the U.S. special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Marc Grossman, told a Kabul TV channel over the weekend that the United States recognizes the border. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed the U.S. position during her daily briefing Tuesday.

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“Our policy on this has not changed,” she said. “It was correctly stated by Ambassador Grossman that we see this as the internationally recognized boundary.”

The Afghan government has long opposed the demarcation line, a remnant of British-imposed spheres of influence dating back to the Indian Empire era in 1893.