[Taliban leader Mullah Omar ‘sent letter to Barack Obama’ The Telegraph – Barney Henderson] "Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar and President Barack Obama
Taliban leader Mullah Omar purportedly sent a letter to President Barack Obama last year indicating an interest in peace talks, US officials have claimed.
The unsigned letter from the one-eyed preacher was passed through a Taliban intermediary in July and was considered authentic by current and former US officials.
“As we have engaged various interlocutors as part of the reconciliation process, we have received a variety of messages that were represented as being from senior members of the Taliban,” an administration official said on condition of anonymity.
“However, we haven’t received a letter that we are certain is from Mullah Omar.”
A direct message from the leader of the Taliban would raise hopes that the group is interested in a peaceful solution to the ten-year war in Afghanistan.
The message reportedly expressed impatience that the White House had not yet transferred five former senior Taliban officials out of Guantanamo Bay military prison.
US officials have been considering moving the detainees to Afghan custody in Qatar as one of a series of good-faith measures that, if successful, could lead to talks on Afghanistan’s future between militants and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
On Wednesday, Leon Panetta, US defense secretary, announced the United States wants to end its combat role in Afghanistan by the middle of next year and switch to an “advice and assist” role with the Afghan army.
Last month a team of senior Taliban diplomats arrived in Qatar in preparation for the opening of a political office to host the negotiations.
A Taliban declaration earlier this month that the movement would open an office “to come to an understanding with other nations” is seen as the most significant political breakthrough in the conflict..." Full text: Taliban leader Mullah Omar ‘sent letter to Barack Obama’
Should we be negotiating with
terrorists? Were our efforts worth it?