US dismisses Omar's precondition for talks
WASHINGTON (PAN): The United States --- both the Pentagon and the State Department --- on Monday dismissed the pre-condition of withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan set by the Taliban leader Mullah Omar for peace talks.
“We are committed to Afghanistan to 2014 when all of our forces are scheduled to drawdown. To some extent we would have longer relationship after that. So the idea those foreign forces leaving Afghanistan is a pre-condition does not seem to be very feasible,” Pentagon spokesman, Col Dave Lapan, said
When asked if Mullah Omar is still on target of Pentagon, Lapan said like in many instance, he is an important individual in the Taliban structure.
“Our fight is against Al Qaeda at large, Taliban at large, associated groups like Haqqani and others and not any one individual. As we have seen Osama bin Laden and one more recently, it is very important when we take one important figures off the battle field, it’s not about any one person,” he said when asked if Mullah Omar was still on the American target list,” Lapan said.
The State Department said there is no change in its red line for talks with the Taliban. “I think you know where we’ve been on the larger issue of Taliban reconciliation, that this needs to be an Afghan-led process. US has been and will continue to support an Afghan-led process, but certain principles or absolute red lines, they have to renounce violence, they have to accept the Afghan constitution,” the State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news conference.
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