By JUHANA ROSSI in Helsinki and YAROSLAV TROFIMOV in Kabul | Wall Street Journal
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday acknowledged that his office has been receiving money from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency over the past 10 years, dismissing the monthly cash payments as a "small amount."
Mr. Karzai addressed the issue after the New York Times reported on Sunday that the CIA has made tens of millions of dollars in secret payments, often cash packed in shopping bags, as it sought to maintain influence over Afghanistan's mercurial leader.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, here in Brussels last week, Monday confirmed that his government has been receiving CIA money for a decade, but dismissed it as a 'small amount.'
"Yes, the office of the national security has been receiving support from the United States for the past 10 years," Mr. Karzai told reporters at a news briefing in Helsinki, Finland, responding to a question about whether he has received CIA cash. "Monthly. Not a big amount. A small amount which has been used for various purposes."
The CIA declined to comment on the matter.