— The Taliban on Saturday denied reports that their representatives met with a
UN official to discuss prospects for peace in , calling them
"futile and baseless" rumors.
The UN in has
not confirmed the meeting between the Taliban and the world body's local chief,
Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide.
But Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton said Eide, who is leaving his post within weeks, wanted to
"get his own conclusion about the mindset of some of the Taliban
"The [Taliban] Leadership
Council considers this mere futile and baseless rumors," a statement
e-mailed to news organizations said of the reported meeting. "The
Leadership Council once again emphasizes continuation of Islamic jihad against
all invaders as a mean to frustrate these conspiracies."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai told
a conference on
Thursday that he would offer jobs and homes to Taliban fighters willing to
renounce violence and would reach out to leaders of the hardline Islamic
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