Afghan Taliban Urge Karzai to Reject Security Accord With U.S.

The Taliban in Afghanistan urged President Hamid Karzai to reject a security pact with the U.S. that would keep some American troops in the country beyond 2014.

Karzai should “utterly refuse” to sign the bilateral security agreement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said in an e-mailed statement today. Afghans will never accept an invading force occupying their homeland, Mujahed said.

Karzai has made shifting conditions for signing the accord, increasing the odds that the U.S. would remove all remaining forces next year. His reluctance to accept the pact comes even after a meeting of 2,500 tribal elders last month approved a draft that allows U.S. troops immunity from Afghan prosecution and access to nine bases in the country.

The Taliban, ousted by the U.S. after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington D.C., have previously vowed to fight any agreement that keeps U.S. troops.

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