In the Taliban's own words20 May 2012 1901 GMTThe Taliban said in a three-page statement today that it wants all NATO nations in the country to pull their forces from the war - just as France is doing. Here are some of the highlights from the English version of the letter posted on the Taliban's website:
- "The declaration of the new president of France, Francois Hollande, that all its troops will be removed from Afghanistan at the end of this year is a decision based on realities and a reflection of the opinion of its nation."
- "We call upon all the other NATO member countries to avoid working for the political interests of American officials and answer the call of your own people by immediately removing all your troops from Afghanistan."
- Referring to a poll that found 69 percent of Americans thought the U.S. should not be at war in Afghanistan: "So the NATO member countries who claim to be the elected representatives of its people and consider their government the people's government - by the people, for the people - how will they answer the call of their people in this summit?"
- "They are conjuring artificial excuses to prolong the occupation of Afghanistan, are wavering in their stance and do not seem to have a clear strategy for a political solution. ... The Islamic Emirate (which is what the Taliban call themselves) considers the claims of the invaders of finding a political solution as meaningless until they come out of their fluctuating unstable state."