WASHINGTON (AFP) — Afghanistan's Taliban called on US president-elect Barack Obama to repudiate the "war-mongering" policies of President George W. Bush to repair the country's image abroad, a group that monitors Islamist websites said.
"The ground realities in Afghanistan and the expectations of the people of America expressed through their votes demand that Obama should shun all policies followed by Bush," said a Taliban statement as quoted by the SITE Intelligence group.
Obama, who won the US election a week ago, promised during the campaign to begin the withdrawal US troops from Iraq and send more forces to Afghanistan to battle insurgents.
The Taliban warned that if Obama should "follow into the steps of Bush ... and nurture the ambitions of prolonging the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq ... then it is clear that the fate of the Democrats will be even more shameful and despicable than the Republicans."
By continuing war with its "sky-high expenditure," the United States will face "penury" and will not be able to recover "its previous caliber in the world and its good name," said a transcript of the statement provided by the US-based SITE.
"This war, which is the outcome of Bush belligerence and war-mongering mindset, has resulted in failure both in Afghanistan and Iraq," the Taliban said.
Obama, they said, "should respect the rights of the people to independence and observe the norms of human rights.
"In short, he should set out on a policy that will have a message of peace for the war-stricken world which has been victimized by the arrogance and tyranny of USA."
"The overwhelming victory of Barrack Obama ... reveals the collective willingness of American people not to continue the current despicable and anti-human wars in Afghanistan and Iraq."
A US-led international force deployed to Afghanistan in 2001 and toppled the Taliban regime for its alliance with Al-Qaeda and now remains to fight a resurgent Taliban.
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