US rules out talks with Mullah Omar
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Last Updated: Friday, October 15, 2010, 11:37
Washington: The Obama Administration has categorically ruled out having any talks with Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, even as it announced its support to the re-launched peace process by Karzai Government in Afghanistan.

"There's nothing we see that indicates that Mullah Omar will, in fact, change his stripes; as a result, we don't see that he qualifies to play a constructive role in Afghanistan's future," State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters.

"Our focus on Mullah Omar from a US standpoint is based on his complicity in the support of al-Qaeda that led to the plot of 9/11. From our view, Mullah Omar has been attached at the hip to (Osama) bin Laden for some time. So based on everything that we know about him today, in fact, he will not meet the criteria that we have laid out," Crowley said.

Mullah Omar had many opportunities during the '90s and even after 9/11 to disassociate himself from Osama bin Laden, Crowley pointed out.

"There's nothing that we know that would suggest that Mullah Omar would qualify," he said.

"We are aware that there have been some meetings between Afghan officials and these groups. We are moving forward on the joint strategy that we have. We are supportive of this reconciliation and reintegration process. We believe in the case of reintegration, we're talking about not ideology here; we're talking about basic economics," he said.

"As the Afghan economy continues to progress as there are opportunities for these foot soldiers to have, to play normal constructive roles in Afghan society, we think they are moving off of the battlefield and are changing their stripes or changing their spots," he said.


First Published: Friday, October 15, 2010, 11:37

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