Saudis suspend mediation as Taliban refuse to cut ties with al Qaeda

I haven’t written about the so-called negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban because there is so much contradictory information in the press on what exactly has occurred so far that, as with past negotiations, it is very likely little has happened other than the making of some cursory contacts. The conflicting press reports on who has met whom, and when, smack of a well-crafted information operation designed to divide-and-conquer the Taliban. So good that the Quetta Shura and Mullah Omar himself have threatened to execute anyone involved in talks.

But, according to this report in The Associated Press, which I am told by a trusted source is accurate, the Taliban aren’t even interested in cutting ties with al Qaeda:

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister says Riyadh has halted mediation efforts between the Afghan government and the Taliban because the fundamentalist movement has refused to break ties with al-Qaida.

Prince Saud al-Faisal spoke Saturday after a meeting with his Italian counterpart.

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 U.S. and Afghanistan.

The Taliban is unwilling to hold formal peace talks until the U.S. agrees to a timetable to withdraw all foreign troops.

And this raises a question. If there are only 50 to 100 al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, as top US intelligence officials have claimed (and we here at LWJ have disputed from day one) why are the Taliban so unwilling to cough them up?

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Charu says:

    Why aren’t there Saudi troops fighting in Yemen or Afghanistan? Because, like the Pakistanis who can’t be trusted to fight their own creation in Af-Pak, the Saudis can’t be trusted in Ye-Saud.

  • Mr T says:

    Why would the Taliban agree to anything. They have it good right now. Money flows in from all over the world. Sychophants from all over the world come there and vow allegiance to these so called leaders. The leaders get to play war games all the time with these volunteers for martyrdom. The martyrs get to run around shooting guns and setting off explosives while patting each other on the back about what a good cause they are fighting for. They are given wives and food and shelter which may be more than what they had in their home country. They are like rock stars in their own minds and can run around with complete power and control over the people.
    The leaders don’t care how many perish. They probably think they are doing them a favor if they believe their own rhetoric. They are protected by the ISI. They probably think they are winning as well. Part of their strategy is running the American economy into the ground and all the recent indicators make them think they are succeeding.
    If I am safe, I am coordinating a jihad duty, I am powerful, I am breaking the US economy, and bringing people to Allah, and I feel that I am winning and advancing jihad, then I have no reason to talk.
    We need to bring the pain to them and put them in a situation where they are not so fat and happy if we want to progress with talks.

  • madashell59 says:

    Did I miss something? Where have the Saudi’s fought along side coalition troops during this war? It is my understanding that Saudi’s will help us because we are keeping the tirrants(?) of the Middle East in check. And in return they help the world with Oil supplies. My guess if anything was going on it could have been for intelligence only. The Taliban have no reason to deal with the Saudis unless they were hoping for support. Which I can only assume they did not get.

  • Render says:

    Saudi troops have been fighting along Yemen’s border for quite some time.
    They’re just not all that good at it…


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