Taliban Breaks al-Qaeda Ties, Talks Peace: Report

Afghans deny secret Saudi-backed dialogue
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2008 10:52 AM CDT
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, right, speaks to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Alsaud in Kabul, Afghanistan, in this March 18, 2008, file photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Taliban has broken all ties with al-Qaeda and engaged in peace talks with the Afghan government, CNN reports. The talks, held from Sept. 24-27 in Saudi Arabia, mark the first attempt to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan. But both Afghan and Taliban spokesmen are denying the report, though Kabul says it’s interested in such a dialogue.

The Taliban spokesman called the news “totally untrue,” while the Afghan spokesman told AFP “how, when and where, by what mechanism and with whose help—we are working on that.” CNN quotes a Saudi source as saying that not only have talks taken place, but that a second round is scheduled in 2 months.