US seeks to split UN Taliban, al-Qaida sanctions list

UNITED NATIONS - The United States is seeking to split the UN sanctions list for Taliban and al-Qaida figures into two as part of a bid to induce the Taliban into talks on a peace settlement in Afghanistan, diplomats said on Monday.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said earlier this month there could be political talks with the Taliban by the end of this year, if the NATO alliance continued to make military advances on the ground, putting pressure on the insurgents.
Diplomats said the United States had put forward two resolutions about the sanctions list to other members of the 15-nation Security Council -- one on splitting the joint list and the other on removing some Taliban names. The sanctions subject those named on the list to travel restrictions and asset freezes.