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U.S. Embassy: No Preferences On Afghan Candidates

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) and Mohammad Qasim Fahim, one of his vice presidential choices, at the Independent Election Commission in Kabul on May 4.
KABUL -- The U.S. Embassy in Kabul says Washington does not support any particular candidate or vice presidential candidate in the August presidential election, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reports.

Francis Ricciardone Jr., the acting U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, told professors and students at the journalism faculty of Kabul University on May 6 that it is the "Afghans' choice" as to whom their president and vice president will be.

President Hamid Karzai on May 4 announced that his first vice president will be Mohammad Qaseem Fahim, a former warlord.

His choice was criticized by many both in the West and in Afghanistan.

Ricciardone said it is the Afghans' responsibility to ensure that the presidential candidates are taking their country forward.