Taliban's Omar denies sending letter to Saudi king

An Iranian press report had initially said Omar had sent a peace formula to the Saudi king.

Taliban's Omar denies sending letter to Saudi king
The Taliban's supreme leader rejected on Tuesday reports he had sent a letter to the Saudi king involving a formula for ending Afghanistan occupation and conditions for talks with the Afghan government.

Mullah Mohammad Omar also denied reports saying members of the Taliban's resurgent movement had held talks with pro-Afghan government officials on ending the conflict.

"The fact is that the Islamic Emirates has neither held any negotiations in Saudi Arabia or in the United Arab Emirates and neither anywhere else," the Taliban's Website quoted Omar as saying in a statement.

"I neither have sent any letter addressed to Saudi... King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, or to the opposite side (Afghan government) and neither have (I) received any message from them."

The statement added that whatever was being said on this issue was false and part of a propaganda campaign by vested interests.

An Iranian press report had initially said Omar had sent a peace formula to the Saudi king.

Other media also spoke about a formula, which included the replacement of tens of thousands of NATO-led troops in Afghanistan by soldiers from Islamic nations, and power sharing with President Hamid Karzai, who has been leading the Afghanistan government since the Taliban's removal in 2001.

A tentative first step towards talks was taken in September when pro-government Afghan officials and former Taliban members met in Saudi Arabia. A second round was expected too.

Then the Taliban said they would not enter negotiations as long as foreign troops remained in Afghanistan.

The United States plans to send between 20,000 to 30,000 extra soldiers by next summer.



Reuters
Last Mod: 23 Aralık 2008, 12:48
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