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World Briefing / Afghanistan

Karzai opts out of debate with rivals

July 23, 2009|Times Wire Reports

President Hamid Karzai said he will not take part in Afghanistan's first major televised presidential debate, leaving his top two challengers to talk between themselves -- if they show up.

Karzai, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani had been scheduled to debate today.

But after Karzai pulled out, an aide to Abdullah said he might not participate either.

Karzai's campaign said he wouldn't take part because more of the 41 presidential candidates weren't invited.

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