British intelligence agents held a series of secret talks with leading members of the Taliban this summer, reports the Telegraph. At jirgas in Afghanistan, the country's secret service attempted peace negotiations and offered "mentoring." Details of the meetings—as many as a half dozen—emerged just as Afghan officials ordered two European officials working for the EU and the UN deported for alleged meetings with the Taliban
Gordon Brown was expected to acknowledge the talks and announce a shift in strategy in an appearance at the House of Commons 2 weeks ago. Instead the PM denied reports, telling MPs, "We will not enter into any negotiations with these people." It's thought that Washington was extremely upset with its ally's plan to negotiate with a group it considers a terrorist organization.