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    Reports about Saudi talks untrue: Taliban

    KABUL (PAN): The Taliban on Wednesday rejected reports that they planned to hold separate peace negotiations with an Afghan delegation in Saudi Arabia.

    Two days ago, some Arab media outlets quoting unnamed Afghan sources said the government in Kabul wanted to hold peace parleys with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia.

    But a statement on the Taliban website said they had rejected all kinds of negotiations with the Afghan government in the Kingdom. "We respect Saudi Arabia which is the centre of Islam, but such reports are untrue."

    The statement said, the Taliban were in a process of reaching an understanding with the international community and contacts with the opposition (the US and its allies) had not reached the level of formal talks.

    "Before holding talks, the confidence-building phase should be completed. That phase is yet to be complete," the statement said, calling on media outlets to give people correct information.

    On Tuesday, the Afghan government rejected reports that it was going to launch separate dialogue talks with the insurgents in Saudi Arabia.

    Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, chairman of the Government Media and Information Centre (GMIC) Abdul Hakim Asher rejected the report as inaccurate.

    "It is a baseless claim that the Afghan government is looking for another country to host the peace parleys; we don't want a separate Taliban office in Saudi," explained the official.

    The Taliban office would be in Qatar but peace negotiations could also be held in other countries including Saudi Arabia, he continued.