Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai confirms CIA cash payments to continue

The CIA will continue paying cash to the Afghanistan government, President Hamid Karzai said over the weekend.

“Yes, we received cash from the CIA for the past 10 years,” he said, CNN reported. “It was very useful, and we are very thankful for this aid. Yesterday, I thanked the CIA’s chief in Kabul, and I requested their continued help, and they promised that they will continue.”

His comments come on the heels of reports that the CIA had been shipping bags of cash to the Afghan president’s office for years — even as Mr. Karzai has openly criticized U.S. military operations in the country, appearing at times to back the Taliban. Other critics say the cash has been used to fuel a corrupt government.

The cash has been reportedly sent to Mr. Karzai’s office and not directly to him.

“This is not unusual,” Mr. Karzai said, CNN reported. He explained the money was spent on government salaries, on scholarships for students, and on aid to war victims.

“This is the choice of the American government,” he said in the CNN report.

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