Tags: White | House | Rules | Out | Taliban | talks

White House Rules Out Taliban talks

Wednesday, 19 September 2001 12:00 AM

"The president's message to the Taliban is very simple: It's time for action, not negotiations," said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, repeating calls on the Taliban to hand over Saudi fugitive bin Laden.

Fleischer said the White House wanted the Taliban to "take the actions necessary to no longer harbor terrorists - whatever form that takes."

Fleischer's comments marked the second rebuff the administration has delivered in recent days to Afghanistan, where Taliban leaders have signaled some willingness to negotiate to avoid U.S. military strikes in retaliation for backing bin Laden.

But the Taliban overtures, sent in mixed signals from the Afghan capital of Kabul as Islamic clerics gathered to discuss the matter, have fallen well short of anything acceptable to the White House.

Taliban officials have demanded to see proof of bin Laden's involvement in the attacks before considering whether to hand over bin Laden. The administration dismissed the offer, saying disclosure of its proof of bin Laden's involvement would jeopardize intelligence efforts.

Fleischer also pointed to evidence gathered against bin Laden in a previous indictment for the Saudi-born millionaire's alleged involvement in bombings on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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The president's message to the Taliban is very simple: It's time for action, not negotiations, said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, repeating calls on the Taliban to hand over Saudi fugitive bin Laden. Fleischer said the White House wanted the Taliban to take the...
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2001-00-19
Wednesday, 19 September 2001 12:00 AM
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