A senior British diplomat has said an "explosive" meeting between the US special envoy to Afghanistan and the country's president is very worrying.
He said foreign criticism could "de-legitimise the whole process". "I think if there are doubts about corruption in the election, etc, it would be far better, at least in the first instance, to let the Afghan procedures with UN support run their course before jumping to conclusions."
Lord Ashdown added that undermining the election could have disastrous consequences. "If it is the case that the Americans by some form or another have declared these elections illegitimate as it were, have undermined the legitimacy of the electoral process, then our capacity to be able to win back the support of the Pashtun tribes from the Taliban is lessened.US Afghan 'row' worries British diplomatUS envoy 'in angry Karzai talks'