Harvard's Kennedy School of Government has cancelled a scheduled address on Friday by Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai. The president is not going to be able to break away from his Washington visit to speak to the planned forum by the school's Institute of Politics.
The Institute of Politics announced on its web site earlier today that Karzai would give an address at 2 p.m. Friday at a ticketed event.
Karzai's Washington visit comes at a critical moment in Afghanistan, with violence by Taliban insurgents worsening, especially in the south. The Obama Administration is dispatching another 21,000 troops, in addition to the more than 40,000 already on the ground.
Karzai has been leader of Afghanistan since the US invasion toppled the Taliban regime in December 2001, first as interim head of the transitional authority and since 2004 as the country's first democratically elected president. This year's election was supposed to have been held by May but was postponed until August because of security concerns. Karzai made his candidacy for reelection official on Monday in Kabul when he registered formally to compete in the race.
The Karzai family has longtime ties to the Boston area. His brother, Mahmood, opened the elegant Afghan restaurant, Helmand, in Cambridge. Karzai has dined there a number of times.
About this blog
About James F. SmithJim Smith came home to his native Boston in 2002 to become the Boston Globe's foreign editor after spending 22 years abroad. He was previously based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City for the LA Times, and in Johannesburg, Tokyo and The Hague for the AP. In 2007 he became the Globe's national political editor, coordinating presidential campaign coverage. He is a Yale graduate, and has an MBA. He is married to Maxine Hart and has two sons, Matthew and Daniel.
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