( dpa ) - The British government reacted strongly Friday to reported remarks by Afghan President Hamid Karzai in which he blamed British forces for "making things worse" in Afghanistan.
In remarks to journalists at the World Economic Forum in Davos, reported Friday by the Times, Karzai blamed mistakes by Britain and the US for the return of the Taliban to the southern province of Helmand.
"There was one part of the country where we suffered after the arrival of the British forces," Karzai was quoted as saying. "Before that, we were fully in charge of Helmand.
"Both the American and the British forces guaranteed to me they knew what they were doing and I made the mistake of listening to them. And when they came in, the Taliban came," Karzai reportedly said, while asserting the mistake was in allowing the allies to have the sitting governor replaced.
Reacting to the reported comments, a Foreign Office spokesman in London said: "Our strategy in Helmand has been to work with the Afghan government to extend their authority throughout the province, creating a secure environment which allows political and economic development.
"Our armed forces have suffered losses and shown great determination and bravery to achieve that objective," added the spokesman.