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Taliban derides 'futile' NATO summit

May 22, 2012 |  6:34 am

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Taliban movement on Tuesday mocked NATO for what it described as a "futile" summit that had ended a day earlier in Chicago.

"Out of desperation, they repeated the same old narrative," said a Pashto-language statement posted on the movement's website after the gathering concluded.

At the Chicago meeting, the United States and its NATO partners affirmed their intention to hand off most combat operations to Afghan forces in the coming year, and for the Western combat role to end in 2014, with limited numbers of international troops staying to help with training of Afghan forces.

The Taliban leadership, as it had before the conference began, demanded that "the occupiers ... leave the country as soon as possible and let Afghans decide their own affairs."

It also said the summit had failed to address the issue of civilian casualties -- most of which are caused by insurgents -- together with the "poverty, rampant corruption, insecurity and instability that have engulfed Afghanistan" in the course of the decade-long conflict.

"The United States boasts that everything is all right," the statement said.

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-- Laura King and Hashmat Baktash

 

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