Afghan govt. leaked U.S. Taliban talks details over Karzai's fear of losing hold

Kabul, Aug 30 (ANI): The Afghan government has deliberately leaked details of the United States's secret meetings with a Taliban emissary, disrupting the U.S.-Taliban talks and sending the intermediary into hiding, a media report has suggested.

Politico quoted the Associated Press report as saying that the US officials met at least three times with Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar's personal intermediary Tayyab Aga, who has now gone into hiding in Europe over fears for his life.

A U.S. and an Afghan official have said that the Afghan government, angry at Washington's decision to confer secretly with the Taliban emissary, intentionally leaked the details of the talks.

The officials believe Afghan President Hamid Karzai's fears that U.S.-Taliban talks might weaken his position, had actually led to the leak. They claimed that someone in the presidential palace, where Karzai's office is located, intentionally made the information public.

A U.S. official said that although the talks collapsed because of the leak, Washington would continue to pursue negotiations. The U.S. reportedly has not had direct contact with Aga in months.

The officials also said that although the talks between Aga and U.S. officials were preliminary, they had begun to show promise.

The U.S. had offered small concessions to the Taliban just before the leak to help move talks forward, including Washington's promise not to block the Taliban from opening an office in a third country, and allowing Aga to safely travel to Germany and handling the Taliban and al-Qaeda differently under international sanctions.

The U.S. and the Taliban also discussed the release of a captured U.S. soldier and Taliban fighters. (ANI)