Uitsluiting van Al Qaeda in Afghanistan in ruil voor terugtrekking van buitenlandse troepen, dat zou in essentie het vredesaanbod van de Taliban zijn waarop de Amerikaanse regering niet ingaat. Hoe zit dat precies? Dat is een belangrijke vraag ook voor Nederland, waar binnenkort moet worden beslist of – en evt. hoe – na volgend jaar onze militaire missie in dat land wordt gecontinueerd.
WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (IPS) – The Barack Obama administration is refusing to acknowledge an offer by the leadership of the Taliban in early December to give "legal guarantees" that it will not allow Afghanistan to be used for attacks on other countries.
The administration’s silence on the offer, despite a public statement by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton expressing scepticism about any Taliban offer to separate itself from al Qaeda, effectively leaves the door open to negotiating a deal with the Taliban based on such a proposal. The Taliban, however, has chosen to interpret the Obama administration’s position as one of rejection of its offer.
The Taliban offer, included in a statement dated Dec. 4 and e-mailed to news organisations the following day, said the organisation has "no agenda of meddling in the internal affairs of other countries and is ready to give legal guarantees if foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan".
The statement did not mention al Qaeda by name or elaborate on what was meant by "legal guarantees" against such "meddling", but it was an obvious response to past U.S. insistence that the U.S. war in Afghanistan is necessary to prevent al Qaeda from having a safe haven in Afghanistan once again.
It suggested that the Taliban is interested in negotiating an agreement with the United States involving a public Taliban renunciation of ties with al Qaeda, along with some undefined arrangements to enforce a ban al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan in return for a commitment to a timetable for withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.
Despite repeated queries by IPS to the State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley and to the National Security Council’s press office over the past week about whether either Secretary Clinton or President Obama had been informed about the Taliban offer, neither office has responded to the question…
U.S. Silent About Taliban Guarantee Offer on al Qaeda (By Gareth Porter in IPS/ICH)