Afghan President Hamid Karzai plans to ask the United Nations to remove as many as 50 former Taliban members from a U.N. blacklist, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
The request to remove about a quarter of the 137 names on the list is aimed at advancing reconciliation talks with Taliban, the report said, citing a senior Afghan official.
Officially, the Karzai government has set pre-conditions for any peace talks with Taliban, saying that fighters first would have to renounce violence, accept the Afghan constitution, and rescind ties with "international terrorist groups."
At least five of those named on the sanction list are former Taliban officials who now serve in parliament or privately mediate between the Afghan government and the fighters battling NATO-led forces and their Afghan partners.
The senior Afghan official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Karzai would request that 30 to 50 names be delisted to "remove all those Taliban who are not "terrorists", the Post reported.
U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, met with U.N. officials on Tuesday to press them to move forward on the delisting process, the Post reported, citing sources familiar with the talks in New York.
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1267 freezes assets and limits travel of senior figures linked to the Taliban.
Holbrooke apparently hopes to reach agreement on delisting some of the purportedly reformed Taliban members before an international conference this month in Kabul that is aimed at bolstering stability in Afghanistan, the article said.
But the United States opposes the delisting of some of the influential Taliban fighters, including leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, according to the Post.
Karzai's office said last month that the United Nations had agreed to gradually delist Taliban figures provided they had no link to any "terrorist groups."
However, the diplomatic overtures have met resistance from UN officials, who are demanding more evidence that the individuals in question have renounced violence, The Post said.
AgenciesGüncelleme Tarihi: 12 Temmuz 2010, 15:13