KABUL (Reuters) – Taliban insurgents reject a U.S. offer of “honorable reconciliation,” a top spokesman said on Wednesday, calling it a “lunatic idea” and saying the only way to end the war was to withdraw foreign troops.
With the Afghan conflict now in its eighth year, NATO-led forces and the Taliban are locked in a bloody stalemate with violence set to rise further this year as more U.S. troops arrive and seek to contain the insurgency ahead of August elections.
President Barack Obama is redoubling U.S. efforts with more troops, more diplomatic effort and more economic assistance, but he has also already spoken of the need for an “exit strategy.”
If the U.S. plan fails to show results, analysts say, time is on the Taliban side.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an international conference on Afghanistan on Tuesday that those members of the Taliban who abandoned extremism must be granted an “honorable form of reconciliation.”
“This matter was also raised in the past,” said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, referring to comments last month by Obama,… >>>