President Barack Obama’s top White House foreign policy aide Tuesday adamantly declared that Washington had “no need” to apologise to Afghanistan for “mistakes” and civilian suffering during the war.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice made the US position clear following suggestions from the Afghans that Obama write a letter acknowledging US errors and operations that caused civilian casualties in the 12-year conflict.
“There is not a need for the United States to apologise to Afghanistan. Quite the contrary,” Rice told CNN.
Earlier Aimal Faizi, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman, said that Obama would write to his boss acknowledging US “mistakes in the war on terror” and the suffering of the Afghan people due to US military operations as part of Bilateral Security Agreement.
But Rice said “no such letter has been drafted or delivered. That is not on the table.”
The security agreement could lead to a small group of US troops staying behind after the withdrawal of combat troops in 2014 to train Afghan forces and to mount anti-terror missions.
Faizi said President Karzai and Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone Tuesday during final negotiations for the security treaty.
Officials in Washington said there was still some way to go before reaching a final agreement on the pact, which will be put to an Afghan Grand Assembly of tribal chieftains and politicians, known as a “loya jirga” for approval.
Copyright (2013) AFP. All rights reserved.
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