MPs Didn't Represent Obama Admin: US
WASHINGTON - Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and other US lawmakers who met Afghan political leaders in Germany did not represent the Obama administration, a State Department official said on Wednesday.
He said the Berlin session that conferred on a federal system of government in Afghanistan was a privately arranged meeting, which drew angry reaction from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul.
Ahmad Zia Masoud, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, Atta Mohammad Noor, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Amrullah Saleh, Younas Qanooni were urged by the congressmen to initiate efforts for a federal system.
Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said the government considered a foreign role in this regard as plain interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs. It insisted "such actions" should not be repeated.
Without naming anyone, a statement from the ministry said some Afghans had participated in the meeting hosted by the Aspen Institute, an international think tank providing a place to exchange ideas about leadership and contemporary issues.
Rep. Rohrabacher and his colleagues were in Berlin in their capacity as members of Congress, not as representatives of the State Department or any other part of the executive branch, she explained.
Laura Lucas told Pajhwok Afghan News: "Their presence and views at this privately arranged event don't reflect the view of the administration."
A day earlier, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that it was within the right and purview of members of Congress to meet international actors wherever and whenever they wanted.
"We did advise our members of Congress who are in Berlin that we believe it is always better to meet Afghan representatives in Afghanistan and that we also believe it's always best when our members of Congress can see a broad cross-section of Afghan political leaders, not just a slice," she said.