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Afghan President Leaves For Saudi Arabia

Afghan President Hamid Karzai
(RFE/RL) -- Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has headed to Saudi Arabia to seek support for his bid for reconciliation with moderate Taliban, according to RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan.

The Afghan president is expected to meet Saudi King Abdullah on February 3.

Karzai has long called on Saudi Arabia to use its influence to persuade the Islamist Taliban rebels to lay down their arms.

Last week, Karzai won backing for his peace and reconciliation plan at a major international conference in London.

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates were the only countries to recognize Afghanistan's 1996-2001 Taliban government.

with additional agency reporting