Karzai Invites Mullah Omar Into Peace Talks

Also Chastises NATO for Attacks in Villages

by Jason Ditz, September 10, 2010

Issuing his annual Eid al-Fitr speech today, Afghan President Hamid Karzai invited Taliban leader Mullah Omar to end the insurgency and enter into the peace process. Karzai had previously invited such talks in the past and Mullah Omar had previously indicated that he would only accept reconciliation if the NATO troops withdraw.

Karzai also made a point to chastise NATO for their continued air strikes, which have caused a number of civilian deaths in recent days, adding that “we expect the NATO forces must know the war on terrorism is not in Afghanistan’s villages.

Karzai wasn’t the only one making an Eid speech in Afghanistan, however, as copies of Mullah Omar’s own Eid statement spread around a number of places. In the statement Omar predicts “imminent” victory for the Taliban forces and urges the US-led NATO troops to withdraw from the nation.

The latest speeches come as Afghanistan’s death toll is spiraling out of control, with death tolls among both combatants and civilians at their highest level since the 2001 US invasion which ousted Omar and installed Karzai in his place.

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