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Taliban deny meeting UN envoy for Afghan peace talks

world Updated: Jan 30, 2010 20:25 IST

AFP
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The Taliban denied on Saturday that leaders of the group fighting to overthrow the Afghan government had met UN representatives to discuss bringing peace to Afghanistan.

The Taliban issued a statement branding reports of a meeting with the UN's outgoing special representative to Afghanistan, Kai Eide, in Dubai this month "rumours" and "propaganda".

Referring to itself as "the leading council of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" -- as it did during its 1996-2001 rule of the country -- the group said the reports were "propaganda by the invading forces against the jihad and mujahideen".

"The leading council of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly denies the rumours reported by some international media about talks between Kai Eide and representatives of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," the Taliban said.

"To defuse this (propaganda) we insist on continuing our holy Islamic jihad against the enemy," it said, referring to the US and NATO forces fighting the Taliban insurgency.

The statement was read to AFP by purported Taliban spokesperson Zabehullah Mujahed, who spoke by phone from an undisclosed location.

He said the Taliban's refusal to negotiate peace had ensured that an international conference in London, attended by around 70 countries, was a failure.