OIC Invites Taliban, Iran blocks Afghan Fuel And Karzai Visits Russia

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Context

A few important developments have taken place this week with respect to Afghanistan.

The first is the invitation of Saudi Arabia to Taliban representatives for attending the Organization of Islamic Conference as observers. The conference is to be held in Saudi Arabia in March. The media sources indicate that Obama had requested King Abdullah to support this initiative. Furthermore, the reports also indicate that the proposal was only undertaken after evidence suggested Afghan Taliban are distancing themselves from Al Qaeda.

The second developmentĀ is related to Karzai’s visit to Russia, in which he met President Medvedev. Some media resources are reporting this developed as having irked the US while others have presented the case of joint US-Russia drug raid in northern Afghanistan last October, as evidence of collaboration between the two countries. Karzai’s visit to Russia is taking place after he announced delay in seating the new Parliament. The delay follow accusations of fraud in the election held last SeptemberĀ and have dangerous consequence for the political setup in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Iran has continued to block the supply of fuel to Afghanistan as retaliation for US-Israeli Stuxnet operation against its nuclear program. This has led to an increase in anti-Iranian sentiments in Afghanistan.

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