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Saudi Arabia Halts Afghan Mediation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, (AP) – 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-Qaeda.

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-Qaeda 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.