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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Taliban leaders are holding Saudi-brokered talks with the Afghan government to end the country's bloody conflict -- and are severing their ties with al Qaeda, sources close to the historic discussions have told CNN.
Details of the Taliban leader's split with al Qaeda have never been made public before, but the new claims confirm what another source with an intimate knowledge of the militia and Mullah Omar has told CNN in the past.
The current round of talks, said to have been taken two years of intense behind-the-scenes negotiations to come to fruition, is anticipated to be the first step in a long process to secure a negotiated end to the conflict.
But U.S.- and Europe-friendly Saudi Arabia's involvement has been propelled by a mounting death toll among coalition troops amid a worsening violence that has also claimed many civilian casualties.
A Saudi source familiar with the talks confirmed that they happened and said the Saudis take seriously their role in facilitating discussions between parties to the conflict.