The Afghan and U.S. governments played down their political differences Wednesday, rejecting reports of a major dispute between the Obama administration and President Hamid Karzai.
Supportive statements by the U.S. State Department and Karzai's spokesman followed a week of increasing tension between the governments. On Tuesday, the White House indicated it could call off a scheduled May 12 visit by Karzai to Washington.
The tone was different Wednesday, with State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley calling Karzai an ally in a shared struggle.
"We're committed to this partnership," Crowley said, adding: "We share President Karzai's desire to lead Afghanistan to greater sovereignty, and we support the goals he has laid out from his inauguration speech until today."
Karzai was re-elected president last year in voting marred by irregularities that required a runoff. Since then, the Obama administration has publicly pressured Karzai to eliminate corruption in his government and improve
delivery of services to his people.