U.S. drone attacks from Afghanistan to end after 2014: FM

DUBAI Thu Apr 5, 2012 3:24pm EDT

A U.S. Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile stands on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport June 13, 2010. REUTERS/Massoud Hossaini/Pool

A U.S. Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile stands on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport June 13, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Massoud Hossaini/Pool

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasool said on Thursday Afghanistan would not be used as a launch pad for U.S. drones attacks on neighboring countries after NATO combat forces leave by the end of 2014.

"Afghan soil will not be used against any country in the region," Rasool told Al Jazeera television when asked if Washington would be allowed to launch drone strikes against Pakistan after the troops' withdrawal.

U.S.-operated drones have repeatedly carried out deadly missile strikes against suspected al Qaeda targets in Pakistan.

"The presence of the remaining forces in Afghanistan is for training, equipping and securing Afghanistan's security. It has been mentioned, it is going to be mentioned, that this force is not for use against any neighbors in the region," Rasool told the Doha-based channel.

Rasool was in Qatar for talks over the opening of Taliban office in Doha.

(Writing by Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by Alison Williams)

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