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US doesn't view Taliban as enemies: Karzai

US doesn't view Taliban as enemies: Karzai

Dec 22, 2013 - 21:03

KABULinfo-icon (PAN): His administration is in no rush for signing the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States, President Hamid Karzai said on Sunday, promising caution on the issue.

At a five-hour meeting with Afghan media leaders, the president touched on a number of issues of national importance, including the security agreement on America’s military presence in Afghanistaninfo-icon beyond 2014.

Karzai said: "I have already spelled out Afghanistan’s conditions for signing the agreement with America in my speech to the consultative Loya Jirga.” He was confident the Obama administration would meet his conditions.

His terms include a stop to foreign troops’ raids on civilian homes and practical support from the US for a public reconciliation process between the government’s High Peace Council and the Talibaninfo-icon.

“I continue to cling firmly to those conditions,” remarked the president, who said his position on the two emotive issues had been consistently clear over the past few years. He ruled out budging on these questions.

Reminded of concerns that his refusal to sign the accord might trigger a new round of civil strife in the country, he said it was mere propaganda. Historically speaking, he claimed, all wars had been imposed on the country

He went on to explain that no nation could thrive permanently on foreign aid alone as long as its people did not strive for stability and prosperity.

“The BSA with the US isn’t important for economic reasons; it’s necessary from the perspective of our country’s stability,” he continued, stressing the safety of civilian homes.

About the peace process, the president said: “I want a unified Afghanistan with a strong government. Two flags cannot be hoisted in a country’s territory.”

Asked for defining a terrorist, he replied: “Coming from any part of the worldinfo-icon, anyone who kills Afghans is a terrorist, a killer and the enemy of Afghans.”

But the Americans did not view the Taliban, who killed Afghan civilians, torched their houses and destroyed government buildings, as their enemies, he said. From Washington's perspective, only those who posed threats to the US were terrorists, he maintained.

"America won't intervene even if Pakistaninfo-icon infiltrates an army of fighters into Afghanistan. Their occupation of Afghan territory will be brushed off as a bilateral issue between Pakistan and Afghanistan," the president said.

Karzai told the media representatives that foreigners had repeatedly suggested over the past four years that some parts of the country should be ceded to Taliban and peace talks with the movement could be conducted there later on.

Regarding the Qatar process, he claimed that his government had scuttled an obvious plot to divide Afghanistan by seeking certain guarantees from the US before the opening of the Taliban office in Doha.



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