US-Taliban Talks Collapse

Taliban unhappy over media leaks
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2011 10:07 AM CDT
This undated photo reportedly shows the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – The US-Taliban talks have been cut off, thanks to media leaks. Western diplomats tell the Telegraph that confidentiality was a key condition of the talks, held in Germany and Qatar in March and April, but they were halted after just three meetings because details were leaked. Among other things, the identity of chief Taliban negotiator Tayeb Agha, a former private secretary of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was published. Some are blaming "paranoid" Afghan government figures for the leaks.

Since his name was leaked, Agha has not been seen, nor have American officials been able to contact him. "The talks were a big deal, the real thing," says one source. "I hope people will learn the lesson on the importance of confidentiality in the early stages. People in the US are horrified about what has happened."

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