Afghan President Hamid Karzai has offered Taliban leaders the possibility of positions in his government if they struck a peace deal to end the fighting, media reported on Sunday. The offer was made through his brother Qayoun at a secret meeting in Saudi Arabia of which Britain was aware. Britain was in favour of such a deal and the Americans are thought to be coming round to the idea as the Afghan war is proving to be a costly affair. But the Americans have made it clear that while they may let talks with the Taliban, no negotiation with al-Qaeda is possible. According to The Sunday Telegraph, the allies would insist that the Taliban would have to split with al-Qaeda and provide information on international terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan as the price of a deal. The UK Government has said little about the initiative in public but British military commanders and diplomats are known to favour talking to the Taliban as a way of ending the war. British intelligence sources now believe the Taliban's own ranks may be ready for a grand deal in which Taliban leaders will be allowed to return to their homes and even take positions of power and be granted immunity from prosecution.