President Obama has formally apologized to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai for the recent actions of U.S. soldiers, CNN reports:
President Barack Obama apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the burning of Qurans by NATO troops, calling the act "inadvertent" and "an error," Karzai's office and National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said Thursday.
"We will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, including holding accountable those responsible," Obama said in the letter, which was delivered by Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has erupted in violent demonstrations since the troops' burning of the Islamic religious material at the beginning of the week.
The president has a history of apologizing and expressing his regret for U.S. actions abroad.
In a January 2009 interview with the Al Arabiya network, Obama said: "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect."
Several months later, while speaking to a group of students in France, Obama lamented, "In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world."
"Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges," he said, "there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive."
According to a secret diplomatic cable sent in 2009 and unearthed by WikiLeaks, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos warned the Obama administration that it would be unwise for the president to apologize for dropping atomic bombs on Japanese cities during World War II while on a state visit to the country.
Published under: Afghanistan