Taliban leader Mullah Omar backs Afghan peace talks

Secretive Taliban leader Mullah Omar signaled support for Afghan peace talks in a message to supporters Wednesday.

“Concurrently with armed jihad, political endeavors and peaceful pathways for achieving these sacred goals is a legitimate Islamic principle and an integral part of Prophetic politics,” he said in a message released on the eve of Eid celebrations to mark the end of Ramadan.

The Taliban leader said he had ordered the formation of a “Political Office” that was “entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring and conducting all political activities.”

“The objective behind our political endeavors as well as contacts and interactions with countries of the world and our own Afghans is to bring an end to the occupation and to establish an independent Islamic system in our country,” he said, after explaining at length why negotiating with “infidels” is permitted by the Quran and actions of the Prophet Mohammed.