Threat Cancels Hagel-Karzai Press Conference

And not Karzai's statement that US, Taliban are colluding: Pentagon

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 10, 2013 9:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – A news conference with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Afghan President Hamid Karzai was cancelled because of a security threat, but the two men plan to meet privately. The cancellation comes a day after a suicide bomber on a bicycle struck outside the Afghan Defense Ministry, killing nine Afghan civilians and wounding 14 others. US officials would not provide details on the security concerns.

A Pentagon spokesman said the cancellation was not due to remarks Karzai made earlier today suggesting that the Taliban and the US are colluding to convince Afghans that violence will worsen if most foreign troops leave as planned by the end of next year.

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, left, meets with Afghanistan's Interior Minister Ghulam Mujtaba Patang at ISAF headquarters in Kabul, Sunday, March 10, 2013.
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, left, meets with Afghanistan's Interior Minister Ghulam Mujtaba Patang at ISAF headquarters in Kabul, Sunday, March 10, 2013.   (JASON REED)
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrives at Jalalabad Airfield in eastern Afghanistan, Saturday, March 9, 2013. A news conference today was canceled by a security threat.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrives at Jalalabad Airfield in eastern Afghanistan, Saturday, March 9, 2013. A news conference today was canceled by a security threat.   (AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool)
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks to the media following his visit at Jalalabad Airfield in eastern Afghanistan, Saturday, March 9, 2013.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks to the media following his visit at Jalalabad Airfield in eastern Afghanistan, Saturday, March 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool)
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