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Afghan Peace Council Wants Saudi Arabia's Help

High Peace Council spokesman Qiyamuddin Kashaaf

High Peace Council spokesman Qiyamuddin Kashaaf

The Afghan government's newly formed peace council wants Saudi Arabia to play a role in efforts to reconcile with the Taliban.

Qiyamuddin Kashaaf, a spokesman for the 70-member High Peace Council, said today that Saudi Arabia would be a good place to hold any formal peace talks between the two sides.

He also said Saudi King Abdullah should intervene and take a leadership role in fostering talks if initial negotiations fail.

Saudi Arabia had ties to the Taliban government that emerged from Afghanistan's civil war in the early 1990s.

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates were the only countries to recognize the Taliban regime diplomatically.

The Afghan government says it already held discussions with some Taliban commanders, while the Taliban deny that any of their representatives have been involved in talks.

compiled from agency reports