Eide Spoke with Taliban, then Holbrooke, But UN Claims No Instructions
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 22 -- The UN distanced itself Monday from its former
envoy Kai Eide's talks with the Taliban. "At no time was Kai
Eide instructed to speak to the Taliban," UN spokesman Martin
Nesirky read out, in response to a question from Inner City Press.
from Minute 24.
Holbrooke has said that Kai Eide told the US about his
talks with the Taliban, it is hard to believe that Kai Eide did not
simultaneously or before tell UN Headquarters about his talks. So for
the UN spokesman to carefully said that Eide was never "instructed
to speak to the Taliban" misses the point, intentionally.
Eide told UN
Headquarters and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about his talks with
the Taliban, and they and he were allowed to continue, that was
consent. Why not own up to it?
UN's Ban and Eide (with Kouchner), talks with
Taliban not shown
on March 18,
Inner City Press asked the head of UN Peacekeeping, Alain Leroy,
about Hamid Karzai's anger at Pakistan for targeting "moderate"
Taliban who could be spoken with. "I don't have to comment,"
Leroy responded. Video
here, from Minute 5:29.
refused at Monday's noon briefing to answer a related questions about
the UN in Afghanistan, triggered by a quote
from the UN spokesperson
in Kabul Susan Manuel that in Kandahar, there "has been a
temporary reduction" of UN staff. “We’re trying to determine
the profile of the staff, or who needs to be there doing what.”
UN and Nesirky
often deflect questions by saying that the UN does not speak or wish
to see stories about the movements of its staff or other "security"
matters. But here, the UN has spoken openly about pulling staff out
of the way of an impending military engagement. Watch this site.
UN Footnote: Eide's
former deputy and nemesis Peter Galbraith has scoffed
at Eide's claims. The UN, at least on background, continues to
scoff at him, most recently in connection with a briefing
about the upcoming elections in Sudan. Most people understand
elections can't be perfect, one senior UN official told Inner City
Press. "Except Peter Galbraith." The status of Galbraith's claim of
retaliation by the UN is not known. Watch this site.