U.S. Taliban colluding: An American official said allegations of a collusion between the U.S. and Taliban are not true.
The head of the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan said allegations of collusion between the United States and the Taliban are “categorically false.”
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said the U.S. and the militant organization were holding regular, “daily” talks, with the Taliban favoring foreign troops staying in the country.
“We have fought too hard over the past 12 years. We have shed too much blood over the past 12 years. We have done too much to help the Afghan Security Forces grow over the last 12 years to ever think that violence or instability would be to our advantage,” Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who heads the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said in a statement on Monday.
Karzai said that the U.S. is trying to justify its presence in Afghanistan by colluding with the Taliban.
“The bombs that were detonated in Kabul and Khost were not a show of force, they were serving America,” Karzai said on television, according to AFP.
But Dunford said those allegations don’t make sense in light of the decade-long occupation of the country.
Dunford said, “And all that we have been about over the past 12 years is to bring peace and stability to the Afghan people so that they can take advantage of the decade of opportunity that will follow 2014.”
Dunford also said that Karzai “has never said to me that the United States was colluding with the Taliban. So I don’t know what caused him to say that today.”
Karzai also accused the U.S. of trying to scare the Afghan people by saying that if American forces were not in Afghanistan, militants would then overrun the country.
The comments forced the cancellation of a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Karzai on Sunday. But the two men met in private and Hagel downplayed tensions between Washington and Kabul.
“He has his ways,” Hagel said of Karzai, according to AFP. “There will be new challenges, there will be new issues. It shouldn’t come as a surprise… but I don’t think any of these are challenges that we can’t work (our) way through.”
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