The United Nations said Wednesday that it is seeking to clear up the expulsion of two high-ranking diplomats from Afghanistan, blaming the incident on a "misunderstanding."
Nilab Mobarez, press officer for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said one of the diplomats was a UN official and he would leave the country Thursday.
"There is misunderstanding going on, nothing criminal against the national interest of Afghanistan," she said, adding that the United Nations hopes to quickly clear up the situation so the diplomat could return to Afghanistan.
The Afghan government on Tuesday ordered a UN and European Union diplomat to leave the country within 48 hours. Media reports said the two were charged with having talks with the Taliban in the southern province of Helmand without the knowledge of the government in Kabul, which accused them of endangering the security and sovereignty of Afghanistan.
The British Telegraph newspaper also reported Wednesday, citing an unnamed intelligence source, that agents from Britain's Secret Intelligence Service held talks with the Taliban over the summer in the presence of Afghan officials.
The report was published about two weeks after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated his government would not negotiate with "terrorists."