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Taliban: Obama's announcement a symbolic step

Taliban: Obama's announcement a symbolic step

Jun 23, 2011 - 17:56

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Talibaninfo-icon on Thursday dismissed US president Barak Obama's announcement of troop withdrawals from Afghanistaninfo-icon as "only as a symbolic step."

Obama announced Wednesday that 10,000 US troops would leave Afghanistan this year and all 33,000 forces sent as part of a surge ordered in late 2009 would be home by next summer.

"The announcement comes at a time when Afghans are tired of the war", Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban's spokesman, said in a statement.

"America wants to stay in Afghanistan for a long time to serve its own interests," the statement quoted Mujahid as saying.

The Taliban rejected the notion that the US was working with the Afghan government to develop Afghanistan. "The war in Afghanistan will continue until all foreign troops have left the county," he said.

Mujahid said the Taliban considered the announcement only as a symbolic step which would not satisfy the war-weary international community or the American people.

In his announcement, Obama said that “the tide of war is receding” and “the light of a secure peace can be seen in the distance.”

The Taliban are leading an insurgency against foreign troops in Afghanistan which started in late 2001 when they were ousted from power by a US-led invasion.



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