Saudi Arabia halts Afghan mediation efforts over differences with Taliban

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  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/06/AR2010110602189.html

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Arabia's foreign minister says Riyadh has halted mediation efforts between the Afghan government and the Taliban because the fundamentalist movement has refused to break ties with al-Qaida.

    Prince Saud al-Faisal spoke Saturday after a meeting with his Italian counterpart.

    Last February, Afghan President Hamid Karzai sent a small delegation of former Taliban members to Saudi Arabia to seek help in kick-starting talks with the Taliban.

    But the Saudis said the kingdom would not help unless the Taliban severed all ties with Osama bin Laden - a Saudi - and his al-Qaida terror network. That is also a key demand of both the U.S. and Afghanistan.

    The Taliban is unwilling to hold formal peace talks until the U.S. agrees to a timetable to withdraw all foreign troops.
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Saudi Arabia reiterates conditions for Afghan peace role

    RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will not take part in Afghanistan’s peace efforts unless insurgent Taliban give up links with militant networks, state news agency SPA quoted the kingdom’s foreign minister as saying on Saturday. Last month, Afghanistan’s new peace council urged Riyadh to help bring an end to the nine-year-old war after Saudi Arabia hosted secret talks with the Taliban in Makkah in 2008. Saudi Arabia enjoys considerable influence over the Muslim world because of its authority as home to Islam’s holiest sites and its clout from massive oil revenues. Saudi Arabia, along with Pakistan and the US, backed insurgents fighting the Soviets in the 1980s, and later became one of only three countries to recognise the Taliban government that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. Riyadh froze its ties with the Taliban in 1998 over their refusal to hand over al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who had been stripped of Saudi citizenship for activities against the ruling Al Saud family.

    “There has been much talk about a Saudi intermediation but we outlined conditions after the Taliban gave refuge to terrorists,” Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal said, according to SPA. “We got a request then from the Afghan President Hamid Karzai to mediate and we said there will be no intermediation unless the Taliban have good intentions and stop giving refuge to terrorists but unfortunately communications stopped,” he said. Official sources say that for the first time all the main Afghan parties involved from the government to insurgents, from Washington to Pakistan, are seriously considering ways to reach a peace deal. reuters
     

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