Saudi Arabia halts mediation between Afghan gov't, Taliban

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi  Arabia's foreign minister on Saturday stated that Riyadh has halted mediation efforts between the Afghan government and the Taliban because the fundamentalist movement has refused to break ties with al-Qaida terrorists.
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-Qaida terror network. That is also a key demand of both the US and Afghanistan.
The Taliban is unwilling to hold formal peace talks until the US agrees to a timetable to withdraw all foreign troops.
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