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October 31, 2001
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Brahimi-Zaeef meet fails to take off

Tensions between the United Nations and the Taleban came to the fore over a meeting of the world body's special envoy to Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi with the militia's ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef.

Brahimi, who arrived in Islamabad on Sunday to discuss a post-Taleban regime with Pakistani and Afghan leaders, had 'no time' to meet Zaeef.

At the same time, Zaeef was directed by Taleban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar not to meet the UN's special representative with the Taleban's leadership accusing the UN of being 'a tool' of the United States.

Zaeef told reporters in Islamabad that the UN was 'indifferent' to the 'atrocities' committed by the US and not neutral to the issues concerning Afghanistan.

"We will not meet him (Brahimi) and let him interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan," he said.

He said Brahimi had requested a meeting with the Taleban on Oct 26 but the militia leadership turned it down.

Zaeef accused the US of 'genocide' by intentionally targeting civilians in the air strikes and claimed three weeks of US bombings had killed 1,500 civilians in Afghanistan.

PTI

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