Afghans summon U.S. envoy over ‘civil war’ remark

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai has summoned the U.S. ambassador to complain about a fellow diplomat’s comment that “there already is, of course, a civil war in Afghanistan.”

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins made the remarks in a recent interview with Voice of America’s Deewa news service.

Karzai spokesman Aimal Faizi has said that if Dobbins’ assertion was true, then the U.S. was an actor in a civil war instead of fighting terrorism.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Robert Hilton confirmed that Ambassador James Cunningham was summoned to the presidency Tuesday.

He declined to characterize the meeting but referred Wednesday to a statement saying Dobbins used “a standard academic term in the context of describing the need for Afghans to speak to Afghans to achieve peace.”

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