US willing to back Afghan talks with TalibanOctober 30th, 2008 - 1:51 am ICT by IANS
Washington, Oct 30 (DPA) The US would support efforts by the Afghan government to open dialogue with with Taliban militants and other insurgents to end the violence, the Pentagon said Wednesday.”They are an independent, sovereign state,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. “If that’s what they see in their best interest, we fully support it and we’ll do whatever we can to help facilitate it.”
Any US support for reconciliation talks would be limited to Afghan members of the Taliban willing to support the democratically elected central government, but not with foreign fighters or Taliban leader Mullah Omar, who provided refuge and support to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in the run-up to the Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Morrell said.
“We as a government do not believe that Mullah Omar is somebody you reconcile with,” he said. “Mullah Omar has the blood of thousands of Americans on his hands based upon the support that he provided Osama bin Laden. So we do not reconcile with Al Qaeda.”
Omar and bin Laden have evaded the US military since the US-led assault in Afghanistan following the attacks. They are believed to be hiding along the rugged Afghan-Pakistani border. The Taliban and Al Qaeda have used the ungovernable region in Pakistan as refuge for carrying out attacks on US, NATO and Afghan forces.
The refuge area has been a source of tension between Washington and Islamabad. The Pakistani and Afghan governments Tuesday agreed to a joint effort to reach out to moderate Taliban elements.
- Taliban denies Mullah Omar is dead (Night Lead) - May 23, 2011
- After Osama, it should be Mullah Omar's turn: Italy (Lead) - May 02, 2011
- Musharraf made desperate attempts to save Taliban, bin laden from US wrath after 9/11: Report - Sep 13, 2010
- Mullah Omar dead? Taliban denies it (Fourth Lead) - May 23, 2011
- Mullah Omar dead? Taliban says no (Second Lead) - May 23, 2011
- Mullah Omar dead? No, says Taliban (Third Lead) - May 23, 2011
- Taliban co-founder tipped off US on Osama hideout: Report - May 30, 2011
- Obama for 'good' Taliban, no to safe havens in Pakistan (Lead) - Jun 23, 2011
- Text of Obama's speech announcing Osama's killing - May 02, 2011
- Pakistan denies arrest of Mullah Omar - Jul 08, 2010
- Musharraf tried to protect Taliban after 9/11: Report - Sep 14, 2010
- Afghan peace efforts: OIC likely to invite Taliban 'as observers' to March summit - Jan 20, 2011
- Mullah Omar taunts US, Britain - Aug 18, 2012
- 'US sees bin-Laden's killing a chance to end Afghan war' - May 04, 2011
- Osama death could be 'game changer' for Afghanistan: US - May 07, 2011