POLITICS
10/31/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Karzai Reveals Saudi Relationship: A Two-Year Effort To Help Curb Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan --President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday that he had sought help from the Saudi royal family for the last two years to bring the resurgent Taliban to peace negotiations.

Mr. Karzai was delivering a message to Afghans marking the Muslim holiday of Id al-Fitr, which ends the month of Ramadan. Standing in the grounds of the presidential palace, he said Afghan envoys had been to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan but were unable to start negotiations with the Taliban.

"The reality is that for the last two years, we have been sending letters and messages to the king of Saudi Arabia," Mr. Karzai said, "and we had urged him as a leader of the Islamic world -- for us he is considered as leader of the Islamic world -- to help us for security, peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and for good relations in the region."

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