Afghanistan expels UN, EU officials
Tue, 25 Dec 2007 20:06:53
Two high-ranking officials from the European Union and UN have been ordered to leave Afghanistan over their meetings with the Taliban.
The two men-- a Briton and an Irish-- based in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, had been holding meetings with different tribes and groups, including the Taliban.
They have been given 48 hours to leave the country and the UN has said that it will comply with the request.
"The foreign nationals have been declared persona non grata and their Afghan colleagues have been arrested and are being interrogated, " Homayun Hamidzada, a spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai said.
But officials hope to resolve what they have called a misunderstanding.
They said their role was to try to find out what was happening "on the ground" with tribal elders, government representatives and non-government representatives.
Officials have stressed these discussions should not be interpreted as support for the Taliban.