Home / International / Photo News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Bush, Karzai Pledge to Continue Anti-Terror War
Adjust font size:

US President George W. Bush and visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai vowed on Monday to continue their efforts to fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.

They have agreed to make no concession for the release of 21 South Korean hostages seized by the Taliban last month, US National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

"Both leaders agreed that in negotiations for the release, there should be no quid pro quo for the hostages. The Taliban are brutal and should not be emboldened by this," Johndroe said.

The White House official made the remarks after Bush and Karzai held a two-day talks at Camp David, Maryland.

Taliban militants abducted 23 South Koreans on July 19, and have shot dead two of them so far. They threatened to execute the remaining if the Afghan government fails to meet their demand which includes the release of their eight Taliban comrades.

South Korea, which has been striving for the release of the hostages, said Friday that the withdrawal of South Korean troops from Afghanistan would be implemented by the end of this year as scheduled.

The US-Afghanistan summit focused on issues like the release of 21 surviving South Korean hostages, combat the aggressive Taliban insurgency and rein in Afghanistan's flourishing opium poppy trade.

However, Lee Jeong-hoon, the father of one of the captives, told reporters that "the families of the hostages don't seem to expect much from the summit meeting between Afghanistan and the United States, They don't think that the meeting will secure the hostages' release."

A South Korean presidential spokesman meanwhile warned against any "premature expectations" about the summit.

"It is our government's standpoint that we should work separately from the summit to resolve the hostage issue. It is inappropriate to have any premature expectations or to overly interpret the summit," Cheon Ho-sun said in Seoul.

But in Afghanistan, a purported Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said the lives of those being held are in the hands of Bush and Karzai.

Seoul has asked Kabul to be flexible in its policy of non-negotiation with terrorists.
"We will not do anything that will encourage hostage-taking, that will encourage terrorism. But we will do everything else to have them released," Karzai said in a CNN interview broadcast on Sunday.

In Seoul, about 150 demonstrators rallied at the US Embassy, praying for the hostages' release and demanding US help.

On Iran, Bush told reporters after talks with Karzai that he would continue efforts to isolate Iran because the government in Tehran is "not a force for good" in the world.

"Because of the actions of this government, this country is isolated, and we will continue to work to isolate it because they're not a force for good as far as we can see, they're a destabilizing influence wherever they are," Bush said.

Bush made the remarks after US and Iranian experts held their first meeting in Baghdad's Green Zone earlier in the day over how to improve bilateral cooperation on the Iraqi security in the war-torn country.

"It is an established channel of communication and we will see in the future as to whether or not it is a useful channel of communication," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington.

Mass media has noticed that what Bush's remarks about Iran contradict what Karzai said before the US-Afghanistan summit.

Karzai told CNN Saturday that he is investigating reports that Iran is fueling violence in Afghanistan by sending in weaponry such as sophisticated roadside bombs.

But he insisted that "Iran has been a supporter of Afghanistan, in the peace process that we have and the fight against terror, and the fight against narcotics in Afghanistan."

The Afghan top leader said that Afghanistan and Iran had "very, very good, very, very close relations. ... We will continue to have good relations with Iran."

(Xinhua News Agency,China Daily via agencies August 7, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Afghan Forces Warn of Assault; Taliban Demands Rejected
- Taliban Accepts Direct Talks with S Korean Government
- S Korea Denies to Give Ransom to Taliban
- Taliban Wants Neutral Venue for Hostage Talks
- Afghan President Begins Visit to US
- Medicine Delivered to Korean Hostages
Most Viewed >>
> Korean Nuclear Talks
> Reconstruction of Iraq
> Middle East Peace Process
> Iran Nuclear Issue
> 6th SCO Summit Meeting
- China Development Gateway
- Foreign Ministry
- Network of East Asian Think-Tanks
- China-EU Association
- China-Africa Business Council
- China Foreign Affairs University
- University of International Relations
- Institute of World Economics & Politics
- Institute of Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies
- Institute of West Asian & African Studies
- Institute of Latin American Studies
- Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
- Institute of Japanese Studies