Afghan President Hamid Karzai to hold talks with Taliban

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by Yusuf, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    MOSCOW: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has plans to hold a meet with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia to restart peace talks, a media report said.

    The militant group has agreed to the meeting, which is due within the next few weeks, as it is looking to establish a permanent office in Qatar, BBC reported.

    "Even if the Taliban office is established in Qatar, we will obviously pursue other efforts in the region, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey," the report quoted a senior Kabul government official as saying.

    "Saudi Arabia has played an important role in the past. We value that and look forward to continued support and contact with Saudi Arabia in continuing the peace process," he said.

    The Taliban has so far refused to talk to the Kabul government.

    Earlier this month, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the movement was ready to restart the peace process.

    He added, however, that the move did not mean "a rejection of jihad" or "the acceptance of the constitution of the stooge Kabul administration."

    The Times of India on Mobile
     
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  3. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The Taliban will never agree to a peace deal with the afghan government for they actually believe that they can hold out the american presence and eventually take over complete power. Karzai is just acting like one desperate man and making a fool of himself, nevermind the fact that he is selling out his country.
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Taliban may appear to agree, but they will renegade as soon as the coast is clear.
     
  5. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    So it looks like Karzai wants to bypass the US/Pakistan sponsored Qatar based Taliban and go via the Saudi route. It will be interesting to see if any major Taliban faction actually calls for a ceasefire.


    That would be the first indication that talks are progressing. Contrary to popular belief, the Afghan Taliban consist of different factions like Hizb-e-Islami in the north, Haqqni network in the East, Quetta shura in the south and so on. So even if one of the factions declares ceasefire, I don't expect all the others to do the same.
     
  6. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Saudi Arabia has only one agenda _ spread fundamentalist Sunni Wahhabism as far and and wide as possible in the Muslim world to establish Saudi Arabia as the leader of Sunnis. Till the time Sauds are on Amirkhan's side it does not matter to them. That is why Shia leader Iran is on target !

    US aim is that till Sunnies do not aim their guns on USA everything is aright. But IMHO things have gone too far for USA to indulge into gimcrackery any more.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
    Galaxy and Tronic like this.
  7. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Saudi Arabia cautious on possible Afghan talks | Reuters

    Saudi Arabia is reluctant to host talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban without concessions from the Islamist movement including renouncing its ties to al Qaeda, sources in Riyadh and Kabul said on Tuesday.

    An Afghan official said on Monday that talks would be held in the Islamic kingdom this year, but on Tuesday the Afghan ambassador to Riyadh, Saeed Ahmed Omarkhail, said no formal approach had yet been made to the Saudi authorities.

    "The kingdom has a role and has been involved in these issues in the past ... The Afghan president has asked Saudi Arabia to hold talks in the past but there is nothing new," Omarkhail said.

    A Saudi source with strong government connections and a senior Afghan government source said Saudi Arabia was taking a cautious approach to talks.

    Al Qaeda has in the past carried out high profile bombings in Saudi Arabia and has vowed to overthrow the U.S.-backed royal family.

    Saudi Arabia's objections to the Taliban's links to al Qaeda were cited by U.S. diplomats as the reason proposed talks failed to move forwards in early 2010, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

    It said Saudi intelligence chief Prince Muqrin turned down a request from Afghan President Hamid Karzai to host talks because the Saudis "would not support such talks until the Taliban renounced al Qaeda."

    "The major problem that Saudi has in mind is that the Taliban are heavily linked to al Qaeda, and secondly it's next to impossible for the Taliban to formally cut ties with al Qaeda," said an Afghan official.

    Other potential sticking points include the Taliban's use of the title "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," which Saudi officials believe precludes the movement from recognizing other legitimate power structures in the country, said the Saudi source.

    FACE-TO-FACE

    A senior Afghan government source said negotiations would not be possible without a Taliban ceasefire and face-to-face meetings between the two sides.

    Ambassador Omarkhail in Riyadh said any move to hold talks in the Gulf Arab kingdom would not be possible until after the Taliban had established a representative office in Qatar.

    "After that there will be agendas set for talks," he said.

    The Taliban announced this month they would open a political office in the Qatari capital Doha to support possible peace talks with the United States.

    The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Frank Ruggiero, visited Riyadh this month but Washington is expected to leave any new moves on talks in the kingdom to the Saudis.

    Saudi Arabia has had some influence in Afghanistan since it supported mujahedeen fighters against Soviet occupation forces in the 1980s. It has maintained a close relationship with Pakistan and supports both countries with large aid donations.

    Private Saudi institutions have also set up religious schools in the two countries that teach the kingdom's strict Wahhabi brand of Islam.

    "What matters to Saudi Arabia is Pakistan. Bringing peace to Afghanistan will help very much in bringing peace back to Pakistan," said Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi commentator.

    Saudi Arabia has taken a more assertive role in foreign policy in recent months after last year's Arab uprisings, which transformed its immediate neighborhood and threatened to alter the power balance with regional rival Iran.

    Riyadh orchestrated a Gulf Arab plan to ease a power transition in Yemen, and led Arab League efforts to isolate Syria over its crackdown on mass protests.

    However, it has been frustrated before by the complex process of mediating between warring Afghan factions.

    Two decades ago a Saudi prince took Afghan warlords inside the black cube of the Kaaba in Mecca, which all Muslims must face in prayer, and had them solemnly swear to end the fighting that was destroying their country.

    That peace was broken before the warlords left the building as a Saudi official who was present received a phone call from Kabul saying that one side had just started shelling the other.
     
  8. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    @Bhadra

    You should look at Saudi actions from a realist perspective, not an ideological one. If you look at the past history, they have pretty much done anything they can to defend their interests. In the 70s and 80s, promoting salafist Islamists was a way to counter the Iranian version of the Islamic revolution as well as the secular Arab nationalism of Gamal Abdel Nasser and Hafiz Assad that was sweeping the Arab world. Later on, even the US used this ideolgoical groups to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan with Saudi financial support. Not to mention the backchannel relations that the Saudis and Israelis have had for many years now.

    Post 9/11 they realise that their interests can be protected in otherways and promoting Salafists Jihadists group is coming to bite them back as can be seen with the AQ agenda and other militant groups calling for the overthrow of Saudi govt. Hence their effort to cull the ideology and people who they supported in the 70s, 80s and part of 90s. This includes getting rid of extremist preachers, revamping the education system and more recently revamping the religious police as well.

    All I am suggesting is we should have a realist perspective and then analyse the situation.
     
  9. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    True. Most of the funding for Islamic terrorist groups are done by Saudi Arabia.

    WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists

     

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