US Ambassador Vows Not to Abandon Afghanistan

Posted September 10th, 2011 at 9:00 pm (UTC-5)
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The newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, has promised not to abandon the war-torn country, saying to do so would be unacceptable.

In an interview with a VOA correspondent in Kabul on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York and Washington, Crocker said that to leave before Afghan forces are capable of providing security throughout the country risks a return of the Taliban.

Crocker said that a secure Afghanistan and stable Pakistan would help ensure such attacks do not happen again.

American troops remain in Afghanistan, though the U.S. is expected to complete a troop withdrawal from there in 2014.

The Taliban gave the al-Qaida terrorist network, responsible for the 9/11 attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people, a safe haven in Afghanistan — allowing it to set up training camps and refusing to hand over its leader, Osama bin Laden.

The Taliban lashed out at Washington Saturday, calling the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan which followed the attacks “a permanent stigma on the face of Western democracy.”

The Taliban said it would send America into “the dustbin of history.” It accused the U.S. of using the 9/11 attacks as a pretext to martyr innocent Muslims.

The invasion ousted the Taliban from power, weakened al-Qaida and forced bin Laden and other top commanders into hiding.

American special forces tracked down bin Laden and killed him earlier this year in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

In violence Saturday, NATO said one of its service member died in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan.