The White House has rejected the recommendation by Afghan clerics that Osama bin Laden be persuaded to voluntarily leave Afghanistan, saying the key suspect in last week's attacks in the United States should be turned over to responsible authorities.
The White House spokesman said it does not meet Washington's requirements, because it amounts to permitting him to go from one safe harbor to another safe harbor.
He said the president has demanded that key figures of the al Qaeda terrorist network, including Osama bin Laden, be turned over to responsible authorities and that the Taleban shut down terrorist camps in Afghanistan. He said the United States stands behind those demands.
The Afghan clerics issued an edict Thursday that calls on the Taleban to persuade the suspected terrorist to find a new home outside Afghanistan.
Taleban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar decided Monday that the country's Islamic clerics should decide the fate of Osama bin Laden, who is wanted by the United States for his alleged role in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.