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Monday, March 16, 2009

Mullah Omar backs peace talks?

Mon, 16 Mar 2009 01:26:24 GMT | PressTV

Mullah Omar the reclusive leader of the Taliban.
Taliban leader Mullah Omar allows his representatives to attend Saudi-sponsored peace negotiations amid escalating insurgency in Afghanistan.

"Mullah Omar has given the green light to talks," the British daily the Sunday Times, quoted a mediator, Abdullah Anas, as saying.

A big, big step has happened," he added

Anas who used to fight in Afghanistan but now lives in London, is an Algerian and a former friend of al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden.

Meetings are due in Saudi Arabia next month between Taliban envoys and the Kabul government.

Saudi Arabia was one of the only three countries along with Pakistan and the UAE that recognized Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

The breakthrough comes while US President Barack Obama has said that US-led NATO forces were not winning the war in the violence-wracked Afghanistan.

Obama had also told the New York Times in an interview published in early March, that he was open to the idea of reaching out to 'moderate elements of the Taliban'.

Mullah Omar is the reclusive leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan and was the country's de facto head of state from 1996 to 2001.

The US attacked Afghanistan in 2001 to oust the Taliban, which Washington said sheltered bin Laden and al-Qaeda leaders. However, seven years after the US-led invasion, the Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders are still at large and the war-torn country is witnessing a surge in insurgency and violence.

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