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US denies reports on talks with Taliban

US today dismissed media reports that representatives of Af-Pak Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke recently met leaders of the Afghan Taliban and Hizb-i-Islami to discuss formation of a national government after the withdrawal of US forces from the country.

world Updated: Sep 01, 2010 12:54 IST

US today dismissed media reports that representatives of Af-Pak Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke recently met leaders of the Afghan Taliban and Hizb-i-Islami to discuss formation of a national government after the withdrawal of US forces from the country.

"Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (Richard Holbrooke) did not meet with Taliban leaders. The two individuals mentioned in recent news articles do not represent SRAP in anyway," a State Department official said.

He was responding to a question about reports in Middle Eastern media that two representatives of Holbrooke met leaders of Afghan Taliban.

According to the reports, Michael Simbal of Holand and George Daxoin from Britain, representing Holbrooke, held meetings with the activists of Jamaat-ud-Dawa for Quran and Sunnah alias Salfi Taliban in Islamabad and Peshawar on August 17 and 21.

The meeting is believed to have been organised by the former Pakistan Ambassador to Afghanistan, Rustam Shah Mehmood, the reports had said.

The Obama Administration has repeatedly asserted that any reconciliation process in Afghanistan has to be lead by that country itself.