Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Talk aims to reverse Kabul's order to expel envoys

Talk aims to reverse Kabul's order to expel envoys

The United Nations said yesterday it was in talks with the Afghan government over a "misunderstanding" that led Kabul to expel two senior European diplomats over claims they had contact with the Taliban.
The diplomats - one from the European Union and the other a U.N. official - were ordered to leave and their Afghan colleagues were arrested, the Afghan government said Tuesday.
The U.N. official, a British national who is a senior political advisor well versed in Afghan affairs, would leave the country in the next 48 hours, U.N. spokesman Aleem Siddique told Agence France-Presse.
"We are hopeful he will be able to return swiftly so he can continue the important work that needs to take place in order to cement peace and stability and progress (in Afghanistan)," Siddique said.
The European Union could not immediately be reached to say if its staffer, an Irish national who has been in Afghanistan for several years, would also leave.
Siddique said the affair was a misunderstanding that arose after the men visited the Helmand province town of Musa Qala, which was recaptured this month after 10 months under Taliban control.
The men had visited the area to assess "stabilization" efforts after the military offensive, he said.
They spoke with a range of locals including "people who are perhaps undecided whether they are supportive of the government of Afghanistan," Siddique said.
"We have subsequently been informed that our presence in Helmand was detrimental to national security interests. We disagree with this assessment," he said.
"We view this as a misunderstanding between us and the government of Afghanistan."
The U.N. spokesman flatly rejected there had been talks with Taliban insurgents.
"We do not talk to the Taliban - full stop. That is not what we were in Helmand province to do," he said.
The United Nations was seeking meetings with government ministries to resolve the issue, Siddique said.
Asked to comment, foreign ministry spokesman Sultan Ahmad Baheen said internationals working in Afghanistan "have to observe our law."
"All the measures which the government of Afghanistan takes are according to its national and security interests," he said.


Updated : 2021-07-24 01:19 GMT+08:00