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US Ambassador meets Taliban envoy

Amid reports of a possible US air strike on the Afghan base of Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden, American embassy sources in Islamabad confirmed to IRIN on Friday that US Ambassador to Pakistan William Milam met with Taliban government envoy Mulla Abdul Salam Zaeef at the American embassy on Thursday.

While the embassy official declined to disclose the details of the meeting, news sources speculated that discussions focused on the threat of possible air strikes against bin Laden, who the US believes was behind the 12 October bombing attack of the US destroyer Cole in Yemen, and the August 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Suhail Shaheen told IRIN on Friday: “The two sides have agreed to further dialogue reflecting mutual interests between our two countries. In times of confrontation, the only good solution to a problem is through talks.” The US government does not recognise the Taliban movement as the government of Afghanistan. So far, only Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan have done so.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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