Kabul, 30 Safar 1434/12 January 2013 (MINA) The Taliban group in Afghanistan following a statement welcomed news from Washington that the US might withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan next year.

       Taliban also said that the American public was pressing for an end to “this aimless war,” according to the Afghan online Khaama Press reports received by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Friday.

       This comes as Afghan president Hamid Karzai is on four day US visit and is expected to meet with the US president Barack Obama in White House on Friday to focus on how many American soldiers will remain in Afghanistan.

       But the Taliban group in its statement said, “We appreciate this step of the American public and all those societies who pressurise their government in the issue of Afghanistan as to bring this aimless war to an end and to evacuate all their troops.”

       The comments by the Taliban group comes amid preparations by the NATO to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 however Washington will leave a force to train, advise and assist the Afghan army and police.

        However US military officers privately said comments about a total withdrawal were primarily designed as a tactic in negotiations with Kabul over a security agreement, which includes immunity for American troops remaining behind.4

       The U.S. military has already given Obama options under which as few as 6,000 or as many as 20,000 soldiers would remain in Afghanistan after 2014. Those forces would work as advisers to the Afghan army and mount special operations raids against the Taliban and al Qaeda. (T/R-011/R-006).

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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