NATO general criticises Afghan President

German General Egon Ramms, chief of operations of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, criticised Thursday Afghan President Hamid Karzai for failing to support NATO forces in the war against the Taliban.

Ramms said in an interview with the daily economic newspaper Handelsblatt that the president “looks at things from a point of view that, in no way, we can like.”

Last week during a trip to Washington Karzai had said the strategy for Afghanistan needed a rethink and he criticised NATO for civilian deaths in the country.

Ramms reminded Karzai that NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the counter-insurgency mission in Afghanistan, had played an important role in ensuring his re-election as Afghan president in November 2009.

“As a result he should decide whether he prefers the ISAF and troops from supporting nations, or the Taliban with whom he might want to work in future,” the general said.

Ramms also accused local Afghan authorities of releasing on several occasions members of the Taliban arrested by coalition forces in the north of the country, where German troops are based.