Reuters, sourcing a United Nations official, reports that Kai Eide, the U.N. representative for Afghanistan, met with members of the Taliban in Dubai earlier this month “to discuss the possibility of laying down their arms.”
“The official, speaking as leaders and ministers from 60 nations convened in London to discuss Afghanistan, told Reuters members of the Taliban's Quetta Shura had met U.N. Special Representative Kai Eide on January 8 in Dubai,” write Reuters’ David Brunnstrom and Myra MacDonald.
“The official said it was the first time such talks had taken place with members of the Taliban's top council, named after the Pakistani city of Quetta where Washington says it is based.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Alan Cullison, also quoting a U.N. official, reports: ”The official declined to say how high-level the Taliban officials were.
"He said the Afghan government was informed of the meeting, which took place earlier this month after the U.N. representative, Kai Eide, addressed the U.N. Security Council in New York on January 6.”
Some other news reports and perspectives:
- Marl Landler and Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times): “War plan for Karzai: reach out to Taliban”
- Paul Richter (Los Angeles Times): “U.S. cool to Karzai pitch for engaging top Taliban figures”
- Kirsty Wigglesworth (Toronto Star): “Allies okay road map out of Afghanistan”
- Abdul Haleem (Xinhua): “London conference to yield little result in disarming Taliban”
- Catherine Mayer (Time): “London Afghanistan summit glosses over the cracks”
- Rolf Mowatt-Larssen (Belfer Center): "Al Qaeda weapons of mass destruction threat: Hype or reality?"