Illustrating the close relationship between Saudi Arabia and global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, a Gulf newspaper has reported that Qaradawi was one one of the participants in a Saudi-sponsored mediation between Taliban and Afghan officials. According to the report:
Saudi Arabia is mediating between Taliban and Afghan officials to prevent its ally Pakistan from sliding into Islamist violence and to wean the Taliban away from Al Qaeda, diplomats said yesterday. They said Saudi Arabia is worried that Islamist forces including the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies are succeeding in destabilising neighbouring Pakistan, a crucial US and Saudi ally where the Islamist militant groups are also present. Taliban and Afghan officials attended an iftar, or breaking of the fast during the holy month of Ramadan, in the holy city of Makkah last month in the presence of King Abdullah. Both Afghan parties have denied the meeting amounted to reconciliation talks, but Riyadh-based diplomats and a well-placed Saudi analyst said Riyadh was hoping to break the Taliban’s link to Al Qaeda for fear of Pakistan’s future………….Jamal Khashoggi, editor of Saudi Al-Watan, and a confidant of Turki Al Faisal, said the Afghans met Saudi leaders, intelligence officials and religious scholars, including influential Egyptian cleric Yousef Al Qaradawi.
Qaradawi resides in Qatar and since his earliest days as a global Brotherhood leader has been the recipient of petro-dollar largesse from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. He is frequently referred to here as one of the most important leaders the global Brotherhood and was asked to assume the position of Supreme Guide of the Egyptian Brotherhood organization following the death of the former Supreme Guide. Qaradawi declined to accept the position. Muslim Brotherhood figures were instrumental in the establishment of all the major Saudi organizations propagating Saudi “Wahabbi” Islam around the world including the Muslim World League and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.
This is not the first time Muslim Brotherhood leaders have been known to participate in mediation involving Afghanistan. During the 1990’s, German Muslim Brotherhood leader Ghaleb Himmat was known to have attended a meeting in Afghanistan attended by all the major factions representing Islamist groups.