Taliban can’t defeat US but can choose to abandon al-Qaida: Clinton

May 3rd, 2011 - 11:37 am ICT by ANI  

Taliban Washington, May 3(ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that Washington’s message to the Taliban remains the same, but it may have even greater resonance in the wake of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s killing.

The Saudi-born terrorist, who had evaded capture for a decade, was killed in a top secret operation involving a small team of US Special Forces in Abbottabad city, located 50 kilometres northeast of Islamabad and 150 kilometres east of Peshawar on Sunday night.

“Our message to the Taliban remains the same, but today it may have even greater resonance: You cannot wait us out. You cannot defeat us. But you can make the choice to abandon al-Qaida and participate in a peaceful political process,” Clinton said.

She said that in Afghanistan, the US will continue taking the fight to al-Qaida and their Taliban allies, while working to support the Afghan people as they build a stronger government and begin to take responsibility for their own security.

“We are implementing the strategy for transition approved by NATO at the summit in Lisbon, and we supporting an Afghan-led political process that seeks to isolate al-Qaida and end the insurgency,” she added.

In Pakistan, Clinton said, the US is committed to supporting the people and government as they defend their own democracy from violent extremism.

“Indeed, as the President said, bin Ladin had also declared war on Pakistan. He had ordered the killings of many innocent Pakistani men, women, and children. In recent years, the cooperation between our governments, militaries, and law enforcement agencies increased pressure on al-Qaida and the Taliban, and this progress must continue and we are committed to our partnership,” she added.

The Secretary of State said that the US State Department has worked to forge a worldwide anti-terror network, drawing together the effort and energy of friends, partners, and allies on every continent.

“Our partnerships, including our close cooperation with Pakistan, have helped put unprecedented pressure on al-Qaida and its leadership,” she said, adding, “Continued cooperation will be just as important in the days ahead, because even as we mark this milestone, we should not forget that the battle to stop al-Qaida and its syndicate of terror will not end with the death of bin Laden. Indeed, we must take this opportunity to renew our resolve and redouble our efforts.” (ANI)

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