Kabul denies meeting Taliban in Maldives | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 21, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 21, 2010

Kabul denies meeting Taliban in Maldives

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The Afghan government yesterday denied sending representatives to the Maldives to take part in talks with the Taliban and branded the meeting counter-productive.
A spokesman for the Maldives president said Afghan government envoys and Taliban representatives would hold a second meeting at a resort in the Indian Ocean nation on Thursday.
Afghan presidential spokesman Waheed Omar told AFP that Kabul was aware of talks in the Maldives but said no official representatives were attending.
He said President Hamid Karzai was opposed to the talks.
"We are not represented, we do not approve of it and we do not support it," Omar said of the talks. "They will be counter-productive.
"The Afghan government has its own plan for the reconciliation and reintegration (of Taliban operatives)," he said.
"We believe these meetings will not be productive," he said.
"We call on those parties to follow the Afghan government to make sure that this process is conceived properly and the Afghan people support it, the international community support it and we have a good result," Omar said.
Asked who was taking part in the talks, Omar said: "We're not interested."
Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed's office said the meetings would start later Thursday, although his government was not involved.
He said there was no legal impediment for the men linked to the Taliban to enter the Maldives as they had valid passports and their names were not on UN or international travel blacklists.
"Maldivian security and intelligence agencies have been fully informed of the talks," said Nasheed's press secretary Mohamed Zuhair, without giving further details.

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