Afghanistan Rejects UN Criticism of Karzai
Afghanistan Rejects UN Criticism of Karzai
<!-- IMAGE -->

Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry has rejected comments from the top U.N. official in the country warning President Hamid Karzai to combat corruption or risk losing international support.

A Foreign Ministry statement issued Saturday says U.N. special representative Kai Eide "exceeded his authority as a representative of an impartial international organization."

On Thursday, Eide said the Afghan government risks support by allowing - in his words - "warlords and power-brokers" to "play their own games."

The Afghan Foreign Ministry defended the Karzai administration, saying it has made combatting corruption one of the "pre-conditions for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan."

The ministry said similar comments to Eide's from the international community in recent days violate "respect for Afghanistan's national sovereignty."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued one of the strongest warnings to Mr. Karzai Friday, saying British military support depends on the Afghan leader's ability to combat corruption.

The U.N. Security Council Friday called on Mr. Karzai to promote good governance and to improve security.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Friday that only 200 U.N. staff members would be temporarily relocated either within Afghanistan or abroad for security reasons.

Eide previously said more than 600 staffers would be moved, following last week's Taliban attack on a U.N. guest house in the capital, Kabul.