Afghan government seeking peace talks with Taliban: Report

October 1st, 2008 - 5:45 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanKabul, Oct 1 (Xinhua) Afghanistan is seeking to open reconciliation talks with the Taliban movement through the mediation of Saudi Arabia, Afghan web site Quqnoos reported Wednesday. “For two years now, I have been sending letters and messages to the Saudi Arabian king and requested him, as a world Muslim leader, to help us bring peace in Afghanistan,” Quqnoos quoted President Hamid Karzai as saying.

The web site said preparation for negotiations has been going on for some time past.

“Our envoys travelled many times to Saudi Arabia and to Pakistan, but the discussions have not started yet. We hope that it happens soon,” the president said.

Karzai’s statement Tuesday came following a report Sunday in British daily Observer that talks between Taliban and Afghan government with the support of Britain were going on.

However, Afghan foreign minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta told reporters Monday that no official contacts had been established with militants.

Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar in a message on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr ruled out any talks with Kabul so long foreign troops are present in Afghanistan.

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