Saudi renews call for Taliban to renounce Qaeda

Senior Saudi official calls on the Taliban to lay down their arms and renounce al Qaeda.

Afp February 18, 2012

RIYADH: A senior Saudi official on Saturday called on the Taliban to lay down their arms and renounce al Qaeda as preconditions for Saudi-mediated peace talks with the Afghan government.

"Saudi Arabia's conditions for mediation ... are that the Taliban lay down their weapons, engage in the political process and renounce al Qaeda," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"These are our three demands, and they have not changed in three years," he added.

The Taliban, leading a 10-year insurgency against Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government, have denied reports of planned peace talks in Saudi Arabia, despite claims by Afghan officials that the two sides would hold talks in the kingdom separate from those planned in Qatar.

Taliban negotiators have begun preliminary discussions with the United States in Qatar on plans for peace talks aimed at ending the decade-long war. They have also announced plans to set up an office in Doha.

In late January, Afghan government spokesman Akim Hasher said Kabul has "always preferred Saudi to Qatar."

A member of the Taliban's leadership council has told AFP "the idea" that the Taliban should have a point of contact in Saudi Arabia was being pushed by the Pakistan and Afghan governments.


j. von hettlingen | 9 years ago | Reply

Those on-and-off talks with the Taliban illustrate how difficult it is to get all the parties on board to agree on a certain issue. It's like trying to balance the weight of frogs on opposite trays of a produce scale. Somebody has loaded frogs on one tray. But as he begins to load the second tray, some of the frogs on the first one jump off. And as he reloads them, frogs on the second tray leap to the ground.

Mard-e-Haq | 9 years ago | Reply

The Saudis were the only ones, apart from Qatar I think, to recognize the Taliban prior to 9/11. The Taliban's affiliation with Al Qaeda then was not a problem. What hypocrisy!!!

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