A British and an Irish official fly out of Kabul, accused by Afghan government of talks with Taliban and “posing a threat to national security”

Tuesday, Dec. 25, The Kabul government declared two British officials persona non grata for meeting with Taliban insurgents without the knowledge of the Karzai government. They are identified as acting head of the European Union mission Michael Semple and senior UN official Marvin Patterson. One Afghan official said that they had also given the Taliban rebels money.
He said the meeting took place at Musa Qala in Helmand province, which British troops abandoned last month after striking a deal with local elders. President Hamid Karzai was away in Pakistan. Fifty Afghans have also been arrested over their connection with the affair. The Daily Telegraph reports: “Agents from MI6 entered into secret talks with Taliban leaders despite Gordon Brown’s pledge (in parliament) that Britain would not negotiate with terrorists.” He was answering a question from opposition Tory leader David Cameron. According to this paper, MI6 agents held up to half a dozen meetings with Taliban during the summer in Helmand compounds which were secured by a British infantry cordon.

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