Hillary joins Panetta in deploring marine video

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday joined Defence Secretary Leon Panetta in deploring the video in which US marines are seen urinating on the dead bodies of the Taliban fighters.

"I want to express my total dismay at the story concerning our Marines, who I have the highest respect and admiration for; but I share completely the views expressed by Secretary Panetta earlier today. I join him in condemning the deplorable behaviour that is reflected in this video," Clinton told press reporters at a joint media availability with the Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci.

"It is absolutely inconsistent with American values, with the standards of behaviour that we expect from our military personnel and that, you know, the vast, vast majority of our military personnel, particularly our Marines, hold themselves to," she said.

Clinton was responding to questions on a video circulating on the internet, in which four American men camouflage in combat uniforms appear to be urinating on the corps of three dead Taliban fighters. "Have a nice day, buddy," one of the soldier is heard saying.

The Department of Defence has ordered an investigation into it. Panetta, who strongly deplored the footings called Afghan President Hamid Karzai on this. "So I know Secretary Panetta ordered a complete investigation of this incident. Anyone found to have participated or known about it, having engaged in such conduct must be held fully accountable," Clinton said.

When asked about the implication of this footage on peace talks with the Taliban, Clinton said the United States remains strongly committed to helping build a secure, peaceful, prosperous, democratic future for the people of Afghanistan. "We will continue to support efforts that will be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned to pursue the possibility of reconciliation and peace," Clinton said.

"We don`t have any idea standing here today what the outcome of such discussions could be. I think all of us are entering into it with a very realistic sense of what is possible, and that includes, of course, President Karzai and his government, which after all bear the ultimate responsibility and the consequences of any such discussions".