U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai to stop criticizing and instead express gratitude to foreign troops who have died fighting militants in Afghanistan.
Karzai was quoted on October 4 as criticizing U.S.-led forces for failing to pursue militants who carry out attacks in Afghanistan and retreat to safe havens in neighboring Pakistan.
Panetta, speaking to reporters as he traveled to Latin America, said Karzai should instead express “thanks” for the sacrifices of NATO troops who help protect Karzai's government.
Tensions between the U.S. and Afghan governments have risen recently over an increase in so-called “insider” attacks, in which Afghan security force members or insurgents dressed in uniforms open fire on foreign troops.
More than 50 NATO troops have been killed in such attacks so far this year.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AP