Taliban FM Stands for Negotiated Settlement of Osama Issue
Friday, January 12, 2001 5:45 AM EST
ISLAMABAD (Jan. 12) XINHUA - Afghan Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Mutawakil said Friday that the militia had no intent to expel Osama bin Laden and advocated settlement of this intractable issue through negotiations.
"There are no reasons to ask Osama to leave Afghanistan. No one has produced proofs to substantiate their claim that Osama is involved in terrorism," Mutawakil told a news conference here.
He also said that the exiled Saudi multi-millionaire would be allowed to leave Afghanistan if he himself was willing to.
However, "he will be punished if he commits any violations," added Mutawakil.
According to him, the Taliban authorities had given three proposals for an amicable solution of the Osama issue. But the United States rejected all these proposals.
In regard to the U.N. sanctions against Taliban, Mutawakil renewed his criticism by saying that as 12 million Afghans have been suffering from the unprecedented drought and nearly 2 million are facing starvation, "these politically motivated sanctions would certainly aggravate problems of the common men."
Mutawakil arrived here on Thursday for talks with Pakistani officials on the U.N. Security Council's sanctions. It is the second visit by the Taliban official to Pakistan within two months.
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