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U.S. Dismisses 'Bags' Of Cash Suggestion By Afghan President

The White House has rejected Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's suggestion that the United States is among countries such as Iran that give Afghanistan "bags" of cash because Karzai's office lacks money.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said on October 26 that the Obama administration is "not in the big-bags-of-cash business."

He said the United States provides "assistance and aid to the Afghan government through a fairly well-established developmental aid program."

However, Gibbs added that he could not immediately be totally certain that there were no U.S. government agencies involved in making cash payments to Afghan officials.

On October 25, Karzai admitted his office had received "bags of money" containing millions of dollars from Iran over the years, but said Washington had also given him "bags" of cash.

Iran acknowledged on October 26 that it has been sending funds to Afghanistan for years, but said the money was intended to aid reconstruction, not to buy influence over Karzai, as suggested by "The New York Times," which broke the story.

compiled from agency reports