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Saudi Arabia seeks low key influence in Afghanistan

Riyadh is looking to expand its relationship with the Taliban, to expand and protect its interests in the region, and counter Iranian influence.
An Afghan boy stands next to a member of the Taliban in front of the Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul on Sept. 16, 2021.

In 1998, Riyadh closed its embassy when Kabul refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, who was sheltering in Afghanistan. After the attack on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001, Riyadh completely broke off ties.

However, Saudi Arabia cannot afford to remain out of the picture much longer.

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