Hamid Karzai

3:51pm

Thu February 23, 2012
Afghanistan

U.S. Apology Fails To Stop Afghan Riots

Afghan demonstrators burn an effigy of President Obama and shout anti-U.S. slogans in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Afghans have been rioting for three days after word that several Qurans were desecrated at a NATO base. The U.S. says the burning of the Qurans was accidental.
Noorullah Shirzada AFP/Getty Images

President Obama apologized in a letter and Afghan President Hamid Karzai appealed for calm.

But that was not enough to keep Afghans from protesting violently for a third day following word that several copies of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, were burned at a large NATO base outside Kabul.

The latest incident resembled other cases in recent years, where rumors that a Quran was desecrated — even thousands of miles away in Florida or Guantanamo Bay — ignited deadly riots in Afghanistan.

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6:55am

Thu February 23, 2012
The Two-Way

In Letter, Obama Apologizes To Karzai For Quran Burnings

In a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, President Obama has expressed regret and apologized for the burnings of Qurans by some U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan, the White House has confirmed.

Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council, has released this statement:

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9:11am

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Iranian, Afghan Leaders Arrive In Pakistan

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (R) and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrive for a meeting at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad on Thursday.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

The world of international relations seems to have focused on Pakistan today: The president of Iran and the president of Afghanistan both made their way to the country just as tensions between Iran and Israel made the news and just as reports emerged that the U.S. and the Taliban were beginning secret talks.

The official agenda of the meetings is to discuss counter-terrorism and transnational organized crimes at a regional conference tomorrow in Islamabad.

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1:18pm

Fri February 3, 2012
Afghanistan

Afghans View Peace Talks With Hope, Suspicion

Taliban fighters walk with their weapons after joining Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat province, last month. Thirty fighters left the Taliban to join government forces in western Afghanistan. The Taliban announced recently that they would open a political office in Qatar ahead of talks with Washington.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

The surprise announcement last month that the U.S. and the Taliban could soon begin peace talks in the Gulf state of Qatar may have increased the chances of a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

But Afghans are treating the prospect with equal measures of hope and suspicion — perhaps more of the latter from the government of President Hamid Karzai.

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